For some, it turns out, it pays to lose your job. White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and ousted Fox News executive Bill Shine is collecting millions from the network, according to new reporting on Fox News' finances. The White House has not yet publicly commented on the public news of Shine's severance.
CBS News reported Friday that Shine has received $8.4 million in severance since he left the network. Shine left 21st Century Fox in May 2017 after accusations that he looked the other way as a culture of sexual harassment festered under then-chief executive Roger Ailes. (Shine was never accused of sexual misconduct himself.)
The timing of these payments means that Shine will be paid by the Trump-friendly cable news network and the federal government headed by Trump simultaneously. Shine will be paid "bonus and options" in both 2018 and 2019 totaling $7 million before the severance agreement ends in May 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
However, despite the high amount of his severance, NBC News reported that Shine's severance is actually rather low when compared to exit packages received by other Fox News stars and executives. For example, Bill O'Reilly, the network's primetime host for more than 10 years, was reportedly given $25 million exit package, according to NBC News. Ailes, who died at the age of 77 in May 2017, reportedly received an exit package worth as much as $40 million.
CNBC published a copy of the financial disclosure document on Friday after the outlet repeatedly requested the document from the Office of Government Ethics. People with the same title in the Trump administration have made as much as $179,700 per year, according to CNBC. Hollywood Reporter reporter Jeremy Barr reported that the financial disclosure documents are supposed to be filed within 30 days of the employee's start date, which was July 5, but two 30-days extensions can be requested.
Shine holds stock in Apple, Amazon, Google, Comcast, Discovery, Disney, Microsoft, Netflix, and Facebook, according to the financial disclosure documents. Additionally, the financial disclosure document showed that Shine was paid a $1,460,000 salary by Fox News; he joined the company in 1996.
In August 2018, Politico's Annie Karni and Eliana Johnson reported that Shine was laying low in his first two months in the White House. So much so that one source told Politico that "I forget he's even there."
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Shine is still making an impact on the administration, despite the supposed slow start. "The fact he doesn't know where the bathroom is, or doesn't have a permanent office, does not mean he's starting slow," Gidley told Politico. "He's had an immediate impact in this building."
Shine has become a valuable member of the West Wing, Gidley argued.
"Your grace period lasts as long as it takes to get you through the door. Then you're expected to perform at a high level, and Bill Shine has done that from Day One," Gidley told Politico.