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Sean Hannity Could Leave Fox News If Murdochs Don’t Back Besieged Co-Prez Bill Shine

Deadline logo Deadline 4/28/2017 Dominic Patten
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He is the last man standing at Fox News Channel but Sean Hannity could walk if his long time friend and increasingly besieged FNC co-President Bill Shine doesn’t start seeing some support from the Murdoch family.

“Sean is willing to take a bullet for Bill out of loyalty and he knows he’s holding a lot of chits there right now too,” says a source close to the corridors of the Avenue of the Americas located cable newser. “If he threatens to leave, and he could, then that really could be the end of the place as we know it.”

That ominous last bit from the insider was a play on one of Hannity’s many tweets from today about the Murdochs reluctance to publicly back his former producer and halt a potential hit job from on high. A long time protégée of fired FNC boss Roger Ailes, who left under a cloud of a number of sexual harassment claims last summer, Shine has been named in a number of related legal actions and accusations since being tapped by Rupert Murdochlast August to take over the co-presidency of the outlet with Jack Abernethy. Since then, Shine has been accused of allowing a culture of sexual harassment and bullying to exist at FNC when Ailes was in charge.

This latest hoopla is just days after the older Murdoch took his FNC co-Presidents out to a Manhattan power lunch on April 24 as the cabler newer’s Bill O’Reilly-less primetime soon successfully debuted.

After a report by New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman today on Shine’s increasingly weaken position and the elder Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan supposed refusal to put out a statement of support, the never reluctant Hannity took to social media in vernacular manner like that of his good friend President Donald Trump, the tweeter-in-chief.

Correcting the diaeresis he added to Sherman’s first name, Hannity went on to make it very clear he was backing Shine – and that he believed there was an effort to harm him corporately, at the very least.

A spokesman for FNC parent company 21st Century Fox decline to comment on the state of affairs at the outlet, Hannity’s allegations and if the Murdochs were asked for a show of support by Shine. Through an FNC spokesperson, Shine denied that he personally asked for a meeting. Another source tells Deadline that Shine never actually asked the Murdochs at all for the statement of public support that is being claimed.

Literally the only remaining member of the primetime line-up of this time last year, Hannity’s high stake remarks and sharp elbows behind the scenes come with an added edge now. There’s the stain still left that lead to the $40 million pink slipping of the once seemingly irreplaceable Ailes, and more recently top drawer Bill O’Reilly as well. The multi-year ratings behemoth and now former Factor host was shown the door last week when reports of an estimated $13 million in sexual harassment settlements by FNC and O’Reilly himself started to escalate his situation with more women coming forward to claim inappropriate actions were directed at them.

In the past several months, FNC has also seen Megyn Kelly leave for the pastures of NBC and Greta Van Susteren exited to quickly end up at MSNBC.

Perhaps Hannity will address this on this show tonight.

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