Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly, but viewers aren't

OCT. 1 2015 FILE President Donald Trump defended Bill O'Reilly despite the numerous harassment claims against the Fox News host
Stacy Diaz | 20 April, 2017, 07:41

The controversial personality has recently seen his ratings soar, even after news that he paid $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims over the course of several years was reported by The New York Times.

According to research from Kantar Media, "The O'Reilly Factor" hit a low April 7 with only 4 minutes and 40 seconds of paid advertising. Or is it possible that the famed Fox News talking-head might actually be taking a break from the "no-spin zone" for good? However, when she refused his invitation to go to his hotel room after the dinner, Mr. O'Reilly's attitude towards her changed, and she was eventually dropped from the TV program.

NY Mag's insiders say that - similar to with the Ailes scandal - 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like him permanently benched, while Robert and Lachlan are prepared to let him stay.

Bloom is representing Wendy Walsh, who accuses O'Reilly of backing down on a promise to get her a job on the network after she rejected his advances in 2013. The Murdochs declined to comment to the magazine. (Walsh was not one of them.) O'Reilly has disputed the merits of the accusations. O'Reilly has continually denied these claims.

The fallout includes a backlash from advertisers: More than 60 companies have pulled their ads from O'Reilly's program. (The list of advertisers that remain is sort of hilarious.) The show has had to produce additional content to fill ad time - or just turn their time over to other anchors. The network remains the most-watched on cable year-to-date, with 2.8 million average daily viewers, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis.

And there are still reverberations from Ailes' time there: For instance, some of the settlements have drawn the scrutiny of federal prosecutors, who are now investigating whether they "were structured to avoid disclosing them to investors in 21st Century Fox", David notes. O'Reilly has said that he settled the lawsuit to "spare his children the pain of messy public ordeals" and that he was targeted because he is famous.

However, Bloomberg counters with a report that Fox is planning for O'Reilly to return to the show after his vacation.

No one has filed a complaint about O'Reilly with the company's human resources department over the more than 20 years he has been at Fox News Channel, the host said in an April 1 statement.

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