Published: Thu, April 06, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

More Advertisers Pull Out of Bill O'Reilly's Show

Bill O'Reilly, the presenter of the weekday show The O'Reilly Factor, faces calls to resign after a New York Times front page article on Saturday reported that he paid $13 million in settlements to five women who accused him of sexual harassment.

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A dozen major advertisers, ranging from automakers Hyundai and BMW, to financial firm T. Rowe Price, insurer Allstate and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, have pulled their ads from "The O'Reilly Factor".

"We had upcoming advertising spots on the show but are reallocating them due to the recent and disturbing allegations".

Bill O'Reilly's job is to discuss the day's headlines on his Fox News show, The O'Reilly Factor, but lately he is the headline. According to research firm Kantar Media, the show collected over $178m in ad dollars in 2015 and another $118.6m in the first nine months of 2016.

The O'Reilly Factor is the most widely viewed United States cable news show, with an average of 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek.

However, in this specific case, Bayer has suspended its ads, and said, "Bayer supports a safe, respectful and non-abusive environment for women and we have reached out to Fox to voice our concerns regarding this matter". "At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs".

One former Fox News booker was paid $3 million back in 2011, five years before Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against him exploded publicly. However, the scandal appeared to have little effect on ratings or advertising for the nation's most-watched cable news network.

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Their continued presence raises the more fundamental question of the judgment of Rupert Murdoch, the family patriarch, who stepped in to oversee Fox News after Ailes was hustled out.

Is it the broader issue of respect for women they value?

It is not clear how the exodus of advertisers from O'Reilly's show will affect the income of Fox News as a whole.

"Fox News is exquisitely adept at targeting and over-delivering to the portion of the audience that believes in Donald Trump, that loves Donald Trump, that doubts the doubters of Donald Trump", Klein said.

Fox moved swiftly against others faced with accusations of wrongdoing, including Ailes.

With the Fox News deciding to stand by its biggest star, the cable network faces increasing pressure from companies and groups such as The National Organization for Women (NOW) who asked for O'Reilly to be fired.

O'Reilly's continued presence has undercut the Murdochs' contention of a shift in culture, according to several women who work at the network who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity.

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