Former White House communications director Bill Shine is returning to his cable news roots as a consultant for the Nexstar Media-owned cable news outlet NewsNation.
The blog FTVLive first reported the news Wednesday morning.
Shine was co-president of Fox News Channel prior to his tenure as a member of the Trump administration (he served in the comms department from July 2018 until March 2019), He started at the network beginning in 1996 (the year it launched) before resigning in May 2017 around the time of the company’s sexual harassment scandals.
It is unknown how significant of a role Shine will have at NewsNation, which launched a three-hour prime time newscast in September 2020, along with round-the-clock news on its NewsNationNow OTT service. Nexstar recently announced that NewsNation is expanding its live news programming by two hours, beginning March 1.
According to the media news site Mediaite, NewsNation insiders have some reservations about what Shine’s role means for the network. The company has billed itself as an “unbiased alternative” to the other cable newsers, but adding Shine to the mix may mean a sharp move to the right.
Headquartered in Texas, NewsNation’s owner Nexstar is the largest broadcast company in the country, and the cable news channel now has access to 115 local newsrooms across its 197 TV stations, and 5,400 journalists. The infrastructure is there, as is a potential viewer base. When it launches in March, NewsNation will be available in 75 million homes.
Nexstar acquired WGN America as part of its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune in Sept. 2019. WGN America had been a cable entertainment network before launching the prime time news block (NewsNation) last fall. Now, it will feature five hours of news programming in the evenings, with the possibility of expanding to news in the mornings and dayside hours.