NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Hannity is defending Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine following a report that members of the controlling Murdoch family refused to release a statement of support for the executive.
New York magazine cites anonymous sources in reporting that Shine recently asked 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and his brother, Lachlan, who's the company's co-chairman, for a statement of support amid a spate of negative publicity for the network. Spokespeople for Shine and the Murdochs tell the magazine he never asked them directly for a statement.
Hannity referenced the report in tweeting Thursday : "Somebody HIGH UP AND INSIDE FNC is trying to get an innocent person fired." He also said that if Shine is let go, "that's the total end of the FNC as we know it."
Following Bill O'Reilly's ouster from the network earlier this month after an investigation into harassment allegations, Hannity is the last remaining prime-time star of a lineup that dominated cable news for many years.
Shine joined Fox News in 1996 and was a longtime producer for Hannity's programs.
Shine took over as co-president of Fox News Channel with Jack Abernethy last year after longtime chief Roger Ailes stepped down amid claims of sexual harassment.