"Done. Best Sean", Hannity tweeted, with a link to Gabe Sherman's NY magazine story citing unnamed sources who claimed that Shine has become anxious about what he perceives as lack of public support for him from 21st Century Fox leaders Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch.
Sherman notes the network's success during the troubles times, Murdoch not wanting to cave to public pressure and the lack of a logical successor as reasons why Shine is still atop Fox News.
The wheels are coming off the wagon at Fox News. O'Rielly's termination has sparked conversation about their former CEO, Roger Ailes who resigned in July 2016 under sexual harassment allegations as well.
Though reportedly well-liked by Rupert Murdoch, the company's controlling shareholder, Shine may be too closely associated with Ailes' tenure to appease the Murdochs, eager to turn the page on months of workplace turmoil. He was a longtime guiding hand behind veteran anchors like Sean Hannity and Greta van Susteren, and is said to be a key determinant of how the network's anchors present the issues on air each broadcast day. Fox News continues to be the most-watched cable news network and is typically among the leaders in all of cable, not just news.
Hannity declined to say who within the company might be trying to smear Shine, but he offered up a hashtag in support.
"Hannity also claimed that Shine was was the victim of an internal Fox News plot to undermine his leadership, tweeting, "Somebody HIGH UP AND INSIDE FNC is trying to get an innocent person fired". He also tweeted: "I pray this is NOT true because if it is, that's the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done". "I think the rank and file believe he will be replaced, but who knows?" this person said. "#Istandwithbill", he tweeted, before apparently realizing that there was another Bill formerly at Fox News. "Best Sean", Hannity's tweet read. "I'll change it. #Istandwithshine", he added.