O'Reilly is out at Fox but influence endures; career too?

Owen Stevens
April 21, 2017

"What Rush Limbaugh was to talk radio, Bill O'Reilly has been to conservative television", said Mark Feldstein, communication professor at the University of Maryland. O'Reilly is on a two-week vacation that on Wednesday took.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File).

Embattled Fox News host Bill O'Reilly had a brief handshake with Pope Francis on Wednesday as sexual harassment allegations dog him at home.

In addition to O'Reilly and Ailes, Fox has also lost popular hosts Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly since the turmoil began last summer. Fans loved his willingness to talk back to power or point out hypocrisy among liberal politicians or media members.

Mr Burke, a former Fox News correspondent in Rome, denied having facilitated the tickets.

Yet his ratings did not seem to suffer, still easily hovering at the top of the cable news landscape even amid the poor press.

And he keeps echoing in the broader media landscape.

Scores of advertisers pulled their spots from his top-rated show, "The O'Reilly Factor", in the days after the publication of the Times story.

"He helped shape the kind of very polarized discourse that has come to define politics over the past few years in America", Hollihan said.

The network's most popular personality was sacked after a New York Time report earlier this month that said five women had been paid $13 million in settlements after they alleged sexual harassment and mistreatment.

O'Reilly is on a almost two-week vacation at the same time Fox News Channel's parent company investigated a woman's accusation that her career was slowed when she spurned his advances.

"This is what happens when women speak our truth - we can slay dragons", said attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents three of the women who accused O'Reilly, insisting Fox should have fired him years ago.

"We want to address a situation many of you may already be aware of". Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox ended Wednesday's trading on the Nasdaq down less than 1 percent at $30.39 and analysts said the network's viewers would likely remain loyal.

"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims".

Last July, Fox News founding CEO Roger Ailes resigned from the network amid sexual harassment allegations and an ongoing lawsuit.

What became clear to the Murdochss was that no modern day organisation can have a cloud like that hanging over it, no matter how many millions O'Reilly brought into the company. "It was no longer just about finances, it was reputation", he says, noting that more than 60 big brands abandoned O'Reilly's show in the wake of the scandal.

While O'Reilly insisted he was independent - he described his program as the "No-Spin Zone" - he was more critical of progressive-leaning ideas and often decried the loss of what he called traditional American values that he believed in while growing up in a modest household in the Long Island suburbs during the 1950s and '60s. But first, Colbert gave shared his real feelings on O'Reilly's canning. "Half of the fun that they have with their audiences comes from watching the outrage that they manage to provoke".

Don't expect O'Reilly to slip quietly away, said Annenberg's Hollihan.

Other reports by VgToday

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