Bill Shine, the veteran Fox News executive, has officially joined the Trump administration as the White House’s head of communications, a move that accentuates President Donald Trump’s ties to the 21st Century Fox-owned media outlet.
Shine will succeed Hope Hicks in the role of communications chief, a tough assignment in an administration where leaks are plentiful and the President is known for his unpredictability and for sending Twitter messages at all hours of the day. Shine’s formal title is special assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications.
Over the years, Shine rose from being a producer at Fox News to having a hand in many of its programming operations. When he left the outlet last year, he was one of its co-presidents. But he became tangled in controversies surrounding the departure of Roger Ailes, Fox News’ longtime chairman and CEO. Ailes left the unit after a former anchor, Gretchen Carlson, accused him of sexual harassment. Other female employees and former staffers made similar allegations against Ailes, who denied all the accusations before he died in May of last year. Shine had been accused in several lawsuits of turning a blind eye to some harassment accusations, rather than referring them to any sort of human resources or corporate remediation procedure.
He enjoyed strong ties with Sean Hannity, the most-watched host on Fox News Channel. When Shine left, Hannity said in a statement via Twitter that his departure could mean “the total end of the FNC as we know it.“
Another former Fox News staffer serves in the Trump administration. Heather Nauert, a former Fox News anchor, is currently a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.