5 Things You Need to Know About Fox News Cutting Bill O'Reilly
On Wednesday afternoon, Fox News officially cut "The O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly. This decision followed a New York Times story early this month detailing sexual assault lawsuits O'Reilly settled in the past.
"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," 21st Century Fox released in a statement.
1. Advertisers abandoned the show.
Shortly after the New York Times exposé, over twenty advertisers announced they were withdrawing ads from "The O'Reilly Factor." These included Mitsubishi Motors, which spent about $2.1 million for ads on O'Reilly's show in 2016, making it the show's fifth-largest advertiser.
Fox News announced that it was working with advertisers, shifting their buys to run on other shows.
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.
2. Viewers didn't abandon the show.
"The O'Reilly Factor" averaged 3.71 million viewers over the five nights following the Times story, according to the Nielsen company. That actually represented a 12 percent increase over the 3.31 million viewers O'Reilly averaged the week before.
This particular show consistently got Fox News its best ratings, drawing almost 4 million viewers a night and generating more than $446 million in advertising revenue between 2014 and 2016, according to Kantar Media.
Indeed, 21st Century Fox recently extended O'Reilly's contract for about $18 million a year. The host's old contract would have concluded at the end of 2017.
Despite the scandal, O'Reilly continued to attract viewers.