Former Fox News president accepts top White House job

President Donald Trump and Bill Shine have had several serious discussions in recent days about him becoming the next communications director, a source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN.

Former Fox News president Bill Shine has accepted a senior position in the Trump administration, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN Wednesday. While the details of his hiring are still being finalized, he is not expected to become the communications director — a position he discussed at length with President Donald Trump at least twice in the past that has been left vacant since Hope Hicks left the White House in March.

Instead, Shine will likely become the deputy chief of staff in charge of communications.

The White House has not announced Shine’s hiring. When asked for comment, a spokesman told CNN they had no personnel announcements at this time.

Shine stepped down as co-president of Fox News last year after he was criticized for the way he handled sexual harassment claims at the network. Though he and Trump are not personally close, they know each other well, a source familiar with their relationship told CNN. Shine is, however, good friends with Sean Hannity, the Fox News prime-time host who speaks with Trump frequently. They often attend events together and have known each other for more than two decades.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that Hannity had been pushing Shine for the position of White House communications director behind the scenes “big time” over the last several months.

He has been in talks several times about taking this position — most recently in March, as reported by CNN.

Neither the White House nor Shine immediately responded to a CNN request for comment.

Shine joined Fox News at the network’s inception in 1996 as producer of “Hannity & Colmes.” He earned the trust of Roger Ailes, the late CEO and executive chairman of Fox News and became his right-hand man. Following Ailes’ departure from Fox News amid a sexual harassment scandal, Shine was named co-president of the network.

Shine, however, was also ultimately forced out of Fox News in 2017 after being ensnared in the network’s sexual harassment scandal. Shine was never accused of harassment himself, but questions arose over how much he knew about the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes, and whether he took all the proper actions at the time. He denied wrongdoing.

Throughout the Trump administration, the communications director position has been famously tough to fill. Jason Miller stepped down before the President was even inaugurated. Mike Dubke left after three months. An embattled Sean Spicer briefly held the title along with being press secretary. Anthony Scaramucci came and went in 10 days, with a profanity-laced tirade in between. Then Hope Hicks got the job because chief of staff John Kelly wanted to define her portfolio, though she was still seen as a surrogate Trump family member.

Since Hicks left in March, the position has languished at a time when the communications shop has fallen into disarray. One official described it as “the most derided and unprofessional” department in the White House, and it became a source of controversy in May after a staffer made an off-color joke about Sen. John McCain, who has brain cancer, during a daily communications meeting, which has since been scrapped.