NewsNation Insiders Concerned That Hiring of Bill Shine, Ex-Fox Exec and Trump Adviser, Could Mean Rightward Shift
Former Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, who left the network in 2017 in the wake of the network’s sexual harassment scandal, is now a consultant for NewsNation, a recently-launched news network looking to compete with CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
Mediaite confirmed that Shine is consulting for the new network, which was first reported by FTVLive.
Shine, who served as White House deputy chief of staff for communications and assistant to former President Donald Trump following his ouster from Fox, has been consulting for NewsNation since before it launched last year. He will reportedly help oversee talk shows across the network.
Shine has been accused of covering up founding Fox chairman Roger Ailes’s alleged sexual misconduct, although Shine himself has never been accused of harassment.
In a statement to Mediaite, NewsNation said Shine is just one of multiple news consultants for the network with a range of backgrounds and experience.
“NewsNation’s mission is to provide news based on facts, not opinions,” the statement said. “Consistent with our commitment to deliver unbiased news to our viewers, we’ve hired a number of employees and consultants with diverse news production and reporting backgrounds from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CBS, NBC and ABC, amongst others. All of these news professionals have the best-in-class expertise to allow NewsNation to drive forward our mission of providing high-quality, unbiased, fact-driven news.”
Recent high-level additions to NewsNation include Mike Viqueira, previously of CBS Evening News, as Washington bureau chief, and Jonathan Killian, previously of CNN International, as Vice President of creative marketing and brand communications. When asked to provide names or identify consultants with roles similar to Shine’s from other news networks, Nexstar declined.
NewsNation, owned by parent company Nexstar Media Group, launched it’s three-hour nightly newscast in September 2020, along with round-the-clock news on its NewsNationNow digital platform. Airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. out of the WGN-TV studio in Chicago, NewsNation pitched itself as an “unbiased” alternative to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, and recently touted its rank as both neutral and reliable in the January 2021 edition of a “media bias chart.”
NewsNation insiders, however, have some reservations about what Shine’s role means for the burgeoning station.
“Senior leadership is concerned that we will become a far right network in an attempt compete with Fox News,” a NewsNation insider told Mediaite.
NewsNation could potentially have a sizable nationwide reach, with access to parent company Nexstar’s 5,400 local journalists in 110 newsrooms across the country.
In March, WGN America — a cable company also owned by Nexstar that currently reaches 75 million homes — will rebrand as NewsNation. (By comparison, Fox News and Fox Business reach about 80 million homes in the U.S., CNN reaches some 90 million, MSNBC reaches around 83 million.) The network will expand its current programming to include a 6 p.m. news show, NewsNation Early Edition, and a 7 p.m. show, The Donlon Report, which the network says will provide an “in-depth look at the news events of the day,” as well as guest commentary and analysis. At 10 p.m., veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield will host Banfield, an hour-long news and talk show.
NewsNation, which recently added 8.5 million new homes, will reportedly attempt to expand its programming to 24 hours within the next two years.
Marisa Sarnoff was a researcher at Fox News from 2015-2020.
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