Things You Need to Know About Fox News Cutting Bill O'Reilly

Posted April 20, 2017

After almost two decades as Fox News' most popular host, Bill O'Reilly, 67, was let go Wednesday by parent company 21st Century Fox.

The O'Reilly Factor is the top-rated show on Fox News.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel", Efe news agency quoted the network's parent company as saying in a statement.

His ouster came after reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that Walsh went through Fox News' formal complaint process, alleging O'Reilly made unwelcome advances during what she believed to be a business dinner. Despite claiming he'd return to his show on April 24, tongues at Fox wagged that the journalist wouldn't actually be back as dozens of advertisers had pulled their commercials from The O'Reilly Factor. "The Five" had occupied that time slot.

A few advertisers actually announced that they would not be withdrawing from the show, insisting that they were "evaluating" their media buys on the basis of ratings and reaching key audiences. That actually represented a 12 percent increase over the 3.31 million viewers O'Reilly averaged the week before.

According to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media, it brought in $147.13m (€137.2m) in advertising revenue in 2016.

Indeed, 21st Century Fox recently extended O'Reilly's contract for about $18 million a year. The company is making "a pretty big statement" to that effect by dropping O'Reilly, said Hall, the American University professor. "That's not going to bode well", Beck said.

O'Reilly's public statement on Wednesday gave no indication about what he might do next. Several suggested that Fox had essentially caved to a left wing campaign. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fo.

"You need to write and call Fox News Channel today and tell them, you can lose your advertisers or you can lose your viewers", Beck said on his radio show hours before the firing.

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. He has also had best-sellers with everything from the memoir "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" to his most recent work, "Old School", which includes passages urging the respectful treatment of women.

His book publishing partner, Henry Holt, said Wednesday that "our plans have not changed".

In 2004, he settled a $9 million lawsuit with former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris, who accused him of talking about his sexual fantasies and masturbation. Such tickets can be obtained via special request to the papal household from embassies, high-ranking churchmen or Vatican officials.

This story has been corrected to show that the downfall of O'Reilly began with an April 1, not April 2 report in The New York Times.