Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel

Alfredo Watts | 20 April, 2017, 06:45

A pedestrian walks past the News Corp. headquarters building in NY displaying posters featuring Fox News Channel personalities including Bill O'Reilly, right, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fo.

Fox News has cut ties to "The O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly, 21st Century Fox confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

It is unclear if the exit agreement between Fox and O'Reilly limits his ability to appear on other networks.

"Bill O'Reilly is leaving, as of today".

Author Stephen King tweeted: "New book by Fox News: Killing Bill O'Reilly".

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, File).

This particular show consistently got Fox News its best ratings, drawing nearly 4 million viewers a night and generating more than $446 million in advertising revenue between 2014 and 2016, according to Kantar Media.

"Bill O'Reilly, the biggest star in the 20-year history of Fox News, is leaving the network in the wake of mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct", Baier said.

The New York Times reported earlier in April that O'Reilly and 21st Century Fox had paid a total of $13 million to women to stop them from speaking out against him or pursuing litigation over sexual harassment.

O'Reilly's departure is a major blow to Fox - which lost its top executive Roger Ailes a year ago in another sexual harassment scandal.

Bill O'Reilly has responded to news that he will not be returning to his top-rated Fox News Channel show The O'Reilly Factor, saying "it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims".

That certainly could happen, though it probably won't be easy. The article prompted 21st Century Fox to investigate the host's behavior. Fox News had no choice but to fire O'Reilly.

Some of O'Reilly's critics were happy with the news. "The O'Reilly Factor" has generated a huge ad bonanza for Fox, one that yielded more than $178 million in 2015.

But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America (BMWG.DE), Allstate Corp (ALL.N), French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) and T. Rowe Price (TROW.O), pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's show.

Nearly immediately after the announcement of O'Reilly's departure, Fox released its new, O'Reilly-less lineup, which will start Monday, the day O'Reilly had been scheduled to return from vacation.

Fox also announced Wednesday that Tucker Carlson is moving into O'Reilly's coveted 8 p.m. time slot. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased.

O'Reilly's departure will not have any effect on Twenty-First Century Fox's overall profitability, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

Do we watch any of these people? Otherwise, the network risked developing "a reputation as unfriendly to women, potentially turning off a lot of people", said Charles Taylor, a marketing professor at Villanova University.

21st Century Fox now owns 39.1% of Sky plc, the owner of Sky News, and is attempting to purchase the remainder of the company. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster. A representative for O'Reilly, who has been off the air on vacation since April 11, declined to comment. Concern over whether Fox broke the law by failing to disclose its settlements to investors is more likely to impact approval than whether the company is mired in sexual misconduct allegations, said Claire Enders of Enders Analysis, who has studied the Murdoch empire for years.

"Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect".

In this combination photo, Fox News Channel personality Bill O'Reilly appears at The Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration on April 6, 2016, in NY, left, and Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass in Piazza Martiri Square, in Carpi, northern Italy, on April 2, 2017.

O'Reilly and President Donald Trump are both "crowd-pleasing showmen who know how to signal to loyalists in their audience that they are not taking themselves quite as seriously as their detractors are", said news consultant Andrew Tyndall.

"You may have already heard - there are some major changes coming to the programming lineup here at Fox News Channel", "Special Report" host Bret Baier said.