Donald Trump has been very unhappy with Fox News lately. First the president lamented that the network hosted a town hall for Bernie Sanders. Last week, he tore into the liberal leanings of hosts, Arthel Neville, Leland Vittert and Shepard Smith.
It seems that Trump is not the only prominent conservative who is having issues with Fox’s oversight. Host Sean Hannity has reportedly told friends that he plans to leave the network in 2021 due in part to the Murdochs’ lack of support for the president. The Murdoch family owns the network.
A Fox News staffer told Vanity Fair, “Sean doesn’t feel supported. He has no relationship with Lachlan [Murdoch]. Sean thinks, Wait a second, I was hired to get ratings and I get ratings, but now people are embarrassed about me? He feels Fox spends a lot of time supporting Shepard Smith but his show makes no money. That’s annoying to him.”
The relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s sons seems to be a tipping point for Hannity. He has also lost some significant allies in former network president’s Roger Ailes and Bill Shine. In fact, a second source told Vanity Fair that Hannity “told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together.”
While not on the level of Laura Ingraham or Tucker Carlson, Hannity has lost some significant sponsors. His support for Roy Moore during a 2017 special election cost him advertising spots from companies like Peloton and Cars.com.
But the main problems between Hannity and the network goes back to Lachlan and James Murdoch. James is reportedly looking to invest in some media outlets that lean more liberal than conservative. Those kind of investments could spell the end of the relationship between Hannity and Fox News.