NEW YORK (PNN) - May 2, 2017 - Sean Hannity had a message for the roughly 30 staff members he treated to pizza Tuesday night: I’m not negotiating an exit.
As speculation swirled about Hannity’s future at Fox News in the wake of the resignation of his longtime friend and former producer, Bill Shine, who was named a co-president of Fox News last summer with the departure of longtime network chief Roger Ailes, Hannity decided to treat his staff to a thank-you party.
Staff-wide meetings for Hannity are unusual and one person close to his show expressed surprise because “Hannity doesn’t do meetings”.
But at the meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the anchor told his staff that he's not negotiating an exit despite reports, according to a person present at the meeting. He thanked his staff for what they do and told them he's "always available" to answer questions.
"Don't believe the destroy-Trump media," the person said he added.
According to multiple sources, Hannity has a "key man clause" in his contract that gives him the option of leaving Fox News at any time after the departure of Ailes; he only needs to give 60 days notice before he can leave the network.
Shine resigned on Monday as the network faces a number of sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits. (Shine is named in some of the lawsuits as someone who was aware of sexual harassment but did not act; he denies wrongdoing.) His resignation follows the ousting of primetime anchorman Bill O'Reilly last month and Ailes last year as they faced sexual harassment allegations. Star anchors Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren also left the network in the past year and the network's primetime line up has been completely reworked.
Though Hannity declared last week that Shine leaving the network would be "the total end of the [Fox News Channel] as we know it,” he indicated in a Monday tweet that he was not yet negotiating an exit.
Hannity teasingly addressed media reporters who were watching his show on Monday night, saying, "I may or may not have a thing or two to say before the show is over just for you. Please stay tuned.”
But in the end he did not address Shine's departure at all, saying only, “All the lies you’ve heard about me, they’re not true."
A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment on the meeting.