Bill Shine, co-president of Fox News Channel, has become the latest executive to resign in the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal at the cable channel, and will be partly replaced by Fox’s highest-ranking female executive.
The exit of Shine, who has been with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s Fox News since its inception over 20 years ago, marks an important step in the attempt by Rupert Murdoch and his sons, who run the company, to clean house at Fox after a series of embarrassing revelations.
Chairman Roger Ailes resigned in July following sexual harassment allegations, and top-rated news host Bill O’Reilly left last month after a report that Fox and O’Reilly had paid out $13 million to settle harassment claims by five women.
Star anchor Megyn Kelly left Fox in January to join NBC News. Kelly was one of Ailes’ accusers and detailed his behavior in her best-selling book, “Settle for More.” Ailes has denied the allegations.
Shine has been named in a number of lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct at the company, and was blamed for not doing more to prevent it.
Last month, Julie Roginsky, a Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor, sued the network and Ailes, accusing them of denying her a permanent hosting job after she rebuffed Ailes’ sexual advances.
At the time, she also sued Shine, asserting that he failed to investigate her claims.
Shine and Jack Abernethy were appointed co-presidents in August to lead Fox News in the wake of Ailes’ departure.
Abernethy remains co-president of Fox News and chief executive of Fox Television stations. Shine has been replaced by Suzanne Scott, head of Fox News’ programming, and Jay Wallace, head of news, the company said.
Shine will leave the company after helping a transition over the next few weeks, the cable channel said on Monday.
“Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry,” Rupert Murdoch, co-executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, said in a statement announcing Shine’s resignation. “His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”
After talk of Shine’s departure started last week, Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted that Shine’s departure would be “the total end” of Fox News Channel and started a hashtag #Istandwithshine.
(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Bill Rigby)