UPDATED, 3:46 PM: Bill Shine has accepted the position of White House Deputy Chief of Staff in Charge of Communications, continuing the Foxification of the White House. The Sean Hannity pal is replacing Hope Hicks, who had surprised many announcing her resignation in late February, one day after testifying before the House Intel Committee.
An official announcement about Shine will be issued by week’s end, sources say.
PREVIOUSLY: Bill Shine, who stepped down as co-president of Fox News last year after he was criticized for how he handled sexual harassment claims at the network, is in talks to become new White House communications director.
Not surprisingly, Fox News broke the news that the on-again-off-again talk with Shine were on again in a very big way:
The White House job has been vacant since Hope Hick exited, adding her name to the growing list of exiting Donald Trump administration senior staffers. Hicks, who had been part of Trump’s inner circle since before he launched his presidential bid in June 2015, announced her resignation on February 28 — one day after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
Meanwhile, Shine resigned from Fox News in May 2017, and it wasn’t long before word got out he was being courted for a position on President Trump’s communications team. TV news pundits say today’s word the on-again-off-again talks were on again institutionalizes the relationship between Fox New and the White House.
FNC primetime star and close Trump pal Sean Hannity has been advocating for the hire, reported CNN.
At the time of Shine’ departure, Fox News called it a resignation. He was among those to exit the cable news network as it was battered by sexual harassment claims against bigwigs. He has been with the network since its inception and was seen as the right-hand-man of ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch, in a memo informing staff who had been mostly clueless Shine’s exit was coming, described it as “sad,” saying in a memo to staff that Shine was “respected and liked by everybody at Fox News.”
But the protégé of the late Ailes had been named in a number of related legal actions and accusations since being tapped in August by Murdoch to take over, with Jack Abernethy, after Ailes was pushed out over harassment claims. Both Shine and Abernethy were named co-president.
Among the allegations, Shine was accused of allowing a culture of sexual harassment and bullying to exist at FNC under Ailes, who was pushed out after Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Other women came forward with similar claims, following Carlson’s lead.