Shine is Trump’s new image man
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — For years he dutifully carried out Roger Ailes’ orders, earning himself the nickname “the Butler” at Fox News.
Now, Bill Shine is serving the same role under President Donald Trump.
The former news executive, who was formally brought into the White House last month as deputy chief of staff for communications, has yet to move into a permanent office or bring on his own staff. But he is already putting his mark on the West Wing, clashing with reporters, improving the production quality of White House events and trying to shape the message of an administration whose communication strategy has always seemed haphazardly dictated by tweet.
Shine is most often described by people close to the White House as a well-respected professional with the age and experience to be trusted by a president who is uniquely obsessed with his image and coverage.
“I think that Bill commands the respect that is needed on such a priority based on his management experience and knowledge of the media,” said Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary and communications director.
After years working with and managing cable news stars with outsized egos, Shine understands how to work with someone like the president, including the most effective ways to offer guidance or pushback.
And unlike many failed hires who have entered the West Wing with guns blazing, threatening mass firings, Shine appears to have, at least so far, succeeded in not ruffling his colleagues’ feathers — though he is widely expected to add his own staff and has been conducting interviews.
“He’s about making sure we’re moving in the right direction,” said Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications, who said Shine is universally well-liked by senior staff and has eased, not increased, tensions.