What will Bill O'Reilly do now?

20 April, 2017, 09:59 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Ilya S. Savenok  Getty Images

On Wednesday, 21 Century Fox FOXA officially announced that Bill O'Reilly, host of American cable news juggernaut The O'Reilly Factor, will not be returning to Fox News.

But the departure of advertisers, wary of being associated with "The O'Reilly Factor", sealed his fate as the Murdoch family, who owns parent company 21st Century Fox, battles to keep a lid on reports of harassment at the channel and eyes up a powerful merger in Britain.

Bill O'Reilly has been at the center of a firestorm of criticism in the aftermath of a story published earlier this month by The New York Times, which outlined his dubious past.

The "Factor" was the hub of O'Reilly's business, but he has many other spokes, including a line of best-selling books and stage shows at theaters.

O'Reilly was set to return to the show this coming Monday, following an already scheduled vacation.

There was no immediate response from Bill O'Reilly's bosses Wednesday to escalating reports that the Fox News Channel personality will lose his job following accusations he had harassed women.

Up to four million viewers watched "The O'Reilly Factor" each evening, making it the most-watched cable TV program in 2016 and generating $446 million in ad revenues for Fox between 2014 and a year ago, according to a study carried out by Kantar Media. The host is presumably owed tens of millions of dollars under the terms of his multi-year contract, though it is not clear what sort of clauses the contract may have contained to allow Fox News to get out of the deal.

"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in the memo.

NPR reported that "Tucker Carlson Tonight" host Tucker Carlson will replace O'Reilly's 8 p.m. show slot. It's the top-rated show on the No. 1 cable network - one that, according to the investment bank Nomura's estimates, accounts for fully 20 percent of profits at 21st Century Fox.

According to Forbes , The O'Reilly Factor brought in roughly $110.8 million in advertising revenue a year ago, and from 2014 to 2016, the show generated $446 million in ad revenue. O'Reilly's success at appealing to like-minded viewers made him and Fox into cable news leaders.

While O'Reilly survived then, the accumulation of cases outlined in the Times damaged him much more extensively.

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered.

"That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

Francis always goes past the VIP seats at the end of his audience for a quick round of handshakes.

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