Fox News host, and last of the old guard, Sean Hannity has reportedly gone “underground” while he mulls over a possible departure from his longtime employer, Fox News.
According to a report in the Independent Journal Review, which first reported the news late Friday, Hannity is “actively considering” whether or not he will return to Fox News next week following an abrupt announcement from the network that he was taking an extended Memorial Day weekend vacation.
Speculation ran high following the vacation announcement amid controversy over Hannity’s promotion of conspiracy theories suggesting links between murdered DNC staff Seth Rich and WikiLeaks, which dumped hundreds of thousands of documents that proved harmful to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year.
Hannity’s promotion of the conspiracies at the behest of Rich’s family has led to some companies to pull their advertisements from Hannity’s Fox News show.
Fox denied that Hannity was facing a similar fate as former network star Bill O’Reilly, who was ousted from the company last month while he, too, was on vacation. In response to the speculation, Fox said Hannity would return to his show on Tuesday and dismissed any claims otherwise.
Still, according to IJR, Hannity is considering departing the network he has called home for nearly two decades — and has stopped communicating on social media and with friends while he considers his future.
“He has stopped answering his phone, and communicating even with his close friends,” a “well-placed” source told IJR, adding that Hannity has temporarily vowed to stay off social media.
Indeed, Hannity, who is a very frequent Twitter user, last tweeted Thursday afternoon. In the ominous tweet, Hannity thanked his loyal viewers for their support.
“Also I want to humbly thank all of you for the support you have shown me And I promise I will NEVER EVER Stop seeking and speaking the truth,” the conservative pundit wrote.
Also I want to humbly thank all of you for the support you have shown me And I promise I will NEVER EVER Stop seeking and speaking the truth https://t.co/MrqYSKkbPt
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 25, 2017
In a short statement to IJR, a Fox spokesman didn’t deny that Hannity was mulling over a departure from Fox and simply stated that Hannity has the “unequivocal support” of the cable news network.
A Fox spokesperson reiterated that statement in an email to TheBlaze.
More from IJR:
The source, who possesses intimate knowledge of the internal dealings at Fox News, said Hannity feels like the network failed to sufficiently support him after he came under attack. The source also alleged there may be an active campaign to force him out of the network — led by none other than James Murdoch.
James Murdoch is the son of Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch. He currently serves as the CEO of 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox News. The source described Murdoch as being “disgusted” with many of the political views espoused by Hannity and other conservative Fox News hosts. Multiple other sources at Fox News agreed with the representation.
In fact, according to IJR’s anonymous source, Murdoch is “literally obsessed with getting rid of everyone associated with the old Fox and turning Fox into a respectable news network like CNN.”
If the source is correct, then it would almost make sense that he wants Hannity gone. After all, Hannity is the last member of Fox’s longtime primetime lineup to remain at the network.
Last year, after longtime Fox founder Roger Ailes was ousted amid a sexual harassment scandal, Greta Van Susteren left the network. Fox superstar Megyn Kelly left for greener pastures at NBC News in January, while O’Reilly was ousted in April.
New personalities faces like Tucker Carlson and Martha MacCaullum, in addition to longtime Fox panel show “The Five,” have replaced the old primetime lineup.