Fox News' Hannity Reportedly Worried Murdochs Want to Dump Trump

Gabriel Sherman reports in Vanity Fair that internal divisions are arising in Fox News’ coverage of U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump listening as Fox News' Sean Hannity speaks at a campaign rally on the eve of the midterm elections, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 5, 2018.
\ CARLOS BARRIA/ REUTERS

Gabriel Sherman reported in Vanity Fair Tuesday that internal divisions are arising in Fox News’ coverage of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sherman’s report came the day before 21st Century Fox sold off large assets to Disney and began trading under a new name — Fox Corp.

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"Donald Trump's alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency," Sherman wrote. "But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying.

"Reporters are telling management that we're being defined by the worst people on our air," Sherman wrote, citing a senior source in Fox News.

Read more: Trump’s 2020 Strategy: Politicize Israel, Demonize Ilhan Omar and Keep Voters at Home

Sherman added: "Sources said [Sean] Hannity is angry at the Murdochs' firing of [Roger] Ailes and Bill Shine," and that Hannity believes "the Murdochs are out to get Trump," suggesting he may leave the network in the future.

Disney on Tuesday closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, putting “Cinderella,” The Simpsons,” Star Wars” and “Dr. Strange” under one corporate roof.

The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.

The deal helps Disney further control TV shows and movies from start to finish: From creating the programs to distributing them though television channels, movie theaters, streaming services and other ways people watch entertainment. Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call in February that Disney Plus and other direct-to-consumer businesses are Disney’s “No. 1 priority.”

Meanwhile, Fox Corp. — the parts of 21st Century Fox that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting — started trading on the Nasdaq under the “FOX” and “FOXA” tickers on Tuesday.

CNN reported Tuesday that former House Speaker Paul Ryan is joining the board of Fox Corp. Sherman reported that sources in Fox News see the appointment of Ryan and the hiring of ex-DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile as evidence of a shift away from its rigid pro-Trump line.

The report noted that the former Republican congressman and Rupert Murdoch have been friendly for many years, with the Fox supremo saying in 2014 that he had "particular admiration for" Ryan.