Bill O’Reilly and his show, “The O’Reilly Factor”, on Fox News have been the #1 cable news show for close to 20 years. He’s weathered various controversies with Fox by his side over the years.
That all started to change April 1st when the NYTimes published a story (pdf link) reporting on O’Reilly’s numerous sexual harassment allegations over the years and the associated $13 million in settlements provided by Fox.
The NYTimes story sparked activism and brands have followed.
Since the story was published, O’Reilly’s show has lost more than half of his advertisers and almost all of the big brand supporters.
Oddly enough, as brands flee viewers are flocking to O’Reilly’s show. 3.71 million people tuned into “The O’Reilly Factor” last week, giving him a 12 percent bump from the viewership he attracted the week before, and up a staggering 28 percent from the same week in 2016, Nielsen report.
Last night, O’Reilly announced he was going on vacation, leaving many to speculate could that have been his last show on Fox. “The assumption is that he’ll exit in a non-embarrassing way,” one senior Fox News staffer told New York Magazine.
Here is a good review by BuzzFeed of how the brand retreat affects Fox News.
And if you haven’t seen this internet classic, here’s O’Reilly absolutely losing it on a production assistant.