The White House today was the last to confirm what everyone already knew: Bill Shine, the onetime co-president of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, is the new communications director. The move, made official on a quiet day post-July 4, was widely expected after news first broke last week that he was in talks and then accepted the post, formerly known as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.
He replaces Hope Hicks, who had surprised many announcing her resignation in late February, one day after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
Shine stepped down at Fox News last year after he was criticized for how he handled sexual harassment claims at the network. He had been a protege of Fox News architect Roger Ailes, and and co-run Fox News and Fox Business with Jack Abernathy after Ailes’ ouster amid a string of high-profile sexual harassment lawsuits that began with ex-host Gretchen Carlson’s suit against Ailes.
Here’s the White House’s official note on Shine:
President Donald J. Trump announced today that Bill Shine will join the White House staff. Mr. Shine will serve as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. He brings over two decades of television programming, communications, and management experience to the role. Previously, Mr. Shine served as Co-President of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
Hicks had somewhat solidified the top communications job at the White House, which saw her predecessor Anthony Scaramucci last a total of 10 days back in July 2017. She replaced him on an interim basis and eventually was made permanent.
The communications arm is currently in Supreme Court nominee mode, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying last week that Raj Shah is taking leave from his role as Principal Deputy Press Secretary to work on the SCOTUS nomination full time. He is not expected to return.