Mediate is reporting that Fox News host Sean Hannity could be his way out the door. Though unlike Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, he is not being forced out under a cloud of sexual harassment charges. Though a previous Fox contributor did attempt to pin such accusations on him, the woman almost immediately recanted and Hannity has seemingly been cleared of all wrongdoing and implied that he will be suing the accuser and others for spreading the lie.
But it seems the newest reason for this is that dismissal of Fox Co-President Bill Shine, Hannity considered a friend an ally at the station.
All of these changes seem to be pushing Hannity closer to the door. And it might be happening sooner than we think:
The departure of Bill Shine could become that opportunity. Mediaite has learned that Hannity has what is called a “key man clause” in his contract. That means that his entire contract can be torn up if a particular person, the key man, leaves the company. In this case that person is Roger Ailes, who obviously left Fox last year. Mediaite has also learned that while Hannity’s current contract is up in December of 2020, he must only provide 60 days notice if he intends to execute on that “key man” provision. At that point, he would be free to pursue other opportunities.
If this story is accurate, then Hannity has all the authority he needs to pull up stakes and depart from Fox.
Even more than the O’Reilly resignation, Hannity moving to a competitor would be huge. He is the last remaining piece of the original Fox News evening line-up and has been instrumental in the station growing to become a ratings juggernaut. It was often O’Reilly and Hannity who were one and two in viewers on any given night.
Hannity leaving would dig a deeper hole for the embattled Fox News. In the last year, Fox could lose its three biggest news names and have little on the way to replace them.
Tucker Carlson is doing a fine job in O’Reilly’s spot, but Hannity has a loyal following on television, radio, and social media. If he were to tell his viewers to switch to a new station, it would spell near-certain doom for Fox.
Would you stop watching Fox News if Sean Hannity left as well? Share your thoughts!