After facing more than a dozen lawsuits alleging either racial discrimination, sexual harassment, or gender bias, Fox News is losing another executive. This time, according to reports, it’s co-president Bill Shine.
Shine was tapped as co-president after former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was ousted over a series of sexual harassment allegations last summer. In a notably terse statement to employees, Rupert Murdoch, owner of parent company 21st Century Fox, said, “Sadly, Bill Shine resigned today. I know Bill was respected and liked by everybody at Fox News. We will all miss him.”
According to an internal memo published by Mediaite, Jack Abernethy will remain co-president of Fox News and CEO of Fox television stations, while Suzanne Scott will be promoted to president of programming at Fox News. Jay Wallace, formerly the executive vice president of news at Fox News, is now president. The network also announced two other high-level promotions, and one new hire.
The shake-up comes less than two weeks after the network dropped its highest-rated star, Bill O’Reilly, after it was revealed that Fox News had quietly settled five sexual harassment lawsuits against O’Reilly over the years. Advertisers quickly pulled out, prompting executives to terminate O’Reilly’s employment at the end of April.
Fox News has been sued for sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination several times in the last month alone: On Monday, the day of Shine’s ouster, Fox News contributor Diana Falzone sued the network for gender discrimination, claiming they banned her from TV appearances after she publicly disclosed she suffered from endometriosis in a New York Times op-ed. Former anchor Andrea Tantaros has also recently filed a second lawsuit claiming that Bill Shine and other executives retaliated against her for reporting sexual harassment by illegally surveilling and launching a social media campaign against her. Multiple black employees have alleged persistent racial discrimination.
Throughout the lawsuits (which have continued unabated for almost a year), Fox has kept the executives who maintained a culture of misogyny until the last possible moment. And Scott and Abernethy, who were promoted on Monday, are just as complicit in the fraught culture as their predecessors. NPR’s David Folkenflik tweeted that a former employee describes Scott as “a nightmare - just as bad as the rest” and a current employee says she is “‘worse than Shine’ in deflecting concerns of women.”