Bill O’Reilly has had a significant influence on those who follow conservative politics for a long time. Featured on Fox News from 1996 until this month, O’Reilly was fired from the show as sexual harassment allegations were settled with five women for $13 million. Regardless of his occupation, facing five different sexual allegations is a serious issue, and it is reminiscent of what occurred with President Donald Trump earlier this year. It is a serious dilemma affecting the workforce regarding the status of women and how they are treated. What many would not expect is the payout O’Reilly received as he walked out of the door: a whopping $25 million.
Now, to an ordinary person, it sounds like Fox News is promoting O’Reilly’s behavior in the workplace. Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, was paid $40 million as he left the network after being pressured to resign amid sexual harassment allegations. The interesting thing is, while it may seem like it was sexual allegations that brought O’Reilly down, it is likely that it was because of advertisers that he was ousted from Fox News.
Corporations run on money and people. Once O’Reilly was faced with these allegations, it became obvious that advertisers on O’Reilly’s show would want out and that would hurt the parent company of Fox News. At least 56 advertisers have pulled ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” and that is a substantial revenue lost. 21st Century Fox is a cable business and, to be a successful one, advertising revenue is crucial.
This same advertising issue has recently roused YouTube “new media” outlets, which are facing this blacklist as advertisers are trying not to associate themselves with anything that may hurt sales. Controversial topics, such as religion or terrorism, are causing major advertisers like AT&T or Verizon to leave. Advertisers are a huge source of income not only for YouTube channels but also for cable networks like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and so on.
O’Reilly had been a major cornerstone of conservative politics for a while. He had the charisma and personality that Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh all failed to have. It was O’Reilly’s mastery of presenting on television that caught high ratings and profit for Fox News.
O’Reilly’s removal was necessary to promote a more equal and comfortable workplace for women in Fox News. Along with the social pressure, Fox had to consider the business angle and prevent their advertisers from leaving. Whereas there were 3.7 million viewers of “The O’Reilly Factor” on average, the amount is nowhere near the “new media” viewers, which seem to be overriding doomed cable networks.