“Gäbe i pray this is NOT true because if it is, that’s the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done. Best Sean,” Hannity tweeted, with a link to Gabe Sherman’s New York magazine story citing unnamed sources who claimed that Shine has become worried about what he perceives as lack of public support for him from 21st Century Fox leaders Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch. Hannity then apologized for inserting a diaeresis into Sherman’s name, writing, “Ha. Gabe sorry about the 2 dots. I couldn’t do that again if I tried. Best Sean.”
Hannity and Shine have a long history at the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet. Hannity recommended that Fox News hire Shine early in the network’s history, and Shine was an early producer on “Hannity & Colmes,” one of the first primetime programs on the network’s schedule.
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. And Gabe I KNOW WHO it is. Best Sean.” He followed up by tweeting #istandwithbill. When other Twitter users expressed confusion as to whether Hannity was supporting Shine or recently departed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, Hannity tweeted again, “I’ll change it. #Istandwithshine.”
A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment on Hannity’s Twitter activity.
Shine was one of several executives mentioned in a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday by 11 former and current Fox News employees and contributors claiming racial discrimination within the company. The lawsuit came on the heels of last week’s ouster of longtime host Bill O’Reilly in the face of mounting sexual harassment charges. In July, former Fox News chief Roger Ailes was fired over his own sexual-harassment scandal. Shine and fellow co-president Jack Abernethy were appointed by Murdoch to take over as network co-presidents after Ailes’ departure.