More O’Reilly…

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman has new information on the apparently impending exit of Bill O’Reilly.

Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Sources briefed on the discussions say O’Reilly’s exit negotiations are moving quickly. Right now, a key issue on the table is whether he would be allowed to say good-bye to his audience, perhaps the most loyal in all of cable (O’Reilly’s ratings have ticked up during the sexual-harassment allegations). Fox executives are leaning against allowing him to have a sign-off, sources say. The other main issue on the table is money. O’Reilly recently signed a new multiyear contract worth more than $20 million per year. When Roger Ailes left Fox News last summer, the Murdochs paid out $40 million, the remainder of his contract.

This amounts to a wholesale cave job by FNC. They knew what they had in O’Reilly and they chose to stand by him all these years. Now a little bit of advertiser pressure spurned on by the usual suspects who never liked O’Reilly to begin with…and poof! Their spines disappeared.

Look, I am NO fan of O’Reilly. He’s been bad for cable news (though good for ratings). But let’s be honest. He’s just become the latest convenient fall guy for what appears to be an institutional problem that goes straight to the top of the network…a problem that replacing Roger Ailes obviously has not fixed.

One Response to “More O’Reilly…”

  1. We may never know how much the so-called ‘restive women’ at FNC, FBN and yes even FOX broadcast factored into the decision to fire Mr. Bill.

    We do know that ONE woman in particular — Lachlan Murdoch’s wife — was instrumental in convincing him to side with his brother James, which tipped the scales — seemingly leading to the ultimate acquiescence by Rupert.

    Consider this snippet from one reputable news source:

    “Women inside the company have questioned whether the company was serious about fixing a workplace culture beset by repeated allegations of sexual harassment. And calls for his dismissal grew louder Tuesday.”

    Sure the advertisers played a role along with the women who settled — as did some in the anti Fox News media. But I think to blame it on ‘haters’ and ‘bullies’ — as some Fox News loyalists are doing — may be overlooking – even minimizing – the role of others within the 21st Century Fox family itself.

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