6 months ago
It’s the end of Fox News as we know it, according to Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff.
Following the heated backlash over the network’s extensive sexual harassment scandals, network co-president Bill Shine resigned Monday, CNBC reports. Though he wasn’t accused directly of any sexual misconduct, lawsuits single him out for allowing a workplace culture in which sexual harassment festered.
“Fox is finished. Fox that we have known for 20 years is over,” Wolff said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “This represents kind of a cable blip. We’re entering an entirely new era.”
Shine’s resignation comes on the heels Bill O’Reilly’s ousting, who unceremoniously left the network in April following his own sexual harassment scandals. Fox News boss Roger Ailes was forced out of the company just nine months before for the same workplace abuses. And Megan Kelly, who had a devoted prime-time audience and waged sexual harassment allegations of her own against Ailes, left the network in January. She is now with NBC News.
Wolff, who wrote the 2008 book The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, added: “We will definitely lose Sean Hannity, if not in days in months.”
The company’s ratings haven’t faltered much amid the shakeups, CNBC notes. But Wolff says the current lineup—specifically, one that lacks O’Reilly—isn’t sustainable, and predicts trouble due to the “widen open opportunity” now available for competitors looking to attract a conservative audience.
“All those ratings happened because [of] O’Reilly at 8 o’clock. You just have a fall off of his audience across the night. …Now you start with a lower baseline,” Wolff said. “We are just left with a network that has a significant penetration, but no reason for people now to really watch it.”
Watch his full interview below.