FOX News has reportedly dropped Bill O’Reilly over allegations of sexual harassment. I have no idea whether or not those allegations have merit. The decision to drop O’Reilly, however, smacks of corporate cowardice in the age of political correctness.
It is very hard to see how FOX gains from dropping O’Reilly. His viewers are quite numerous and I suspect very loyal. They most likely don’t give a fig about the allegations and find the motivation for them suspect. This has all the earmarks of a self inflicted wound. This isn’t taking one for the team, it’s taking one in the foot.
As a long time FOX News viewer, I fear that the decision will hurt FOX by silencing conservative views. That seems to be the intent of very powerful and moneyed interests of the Left. Is there a connection here to the shouting lunatics that still can’t believe Trump is the President?
But “let not your heart be troubled”, the free market is not yet dead. There is an alternative and a very good addition to conservative cable. The fledgling One America News Network (OAN) is really quite good. Check it out. If it’s not included in your cable subscription, get it.
Where will Bill O’Reilly go next?
From The Hill: BY JOE CONCHA, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR – 04/19/17
With the stunning news that Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News, the big question is: What’s next for “The Factor” host?
Despite being the top-rated cable news host for the past 15 years, the opportunities appear surprisingly thin.
Insert joke here.
His former home at CBS News?
His former home of ABC News?
A walk across the street to NBC News for a reunion with Megyn Kelly?
So what’s left?
Some right-leaning outlets are looking for a big name.
Newsmax is a possibility. The network has a studio in Manhattan and may be looking for a big name. (Disclosure: I co-hosted a roundtable panel show there for a year in 2015).
But is owner Chris Ruddy willing to pay the kind of money O’Reilly would ask for? Even at a 50 percent discount, we’re still talking approximately $9 million per year and a PR headache to boot.
One America News Network, based in San Diego, is also a possible landing place.
OANN, the outlet that gave conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren her start, doesn’t have a New York studio but would surely buy some space to accommodate O’Reilly.
OANN is also independent and family-owned (see: no shareholders to answer to) but is available in just five million homes. In contrast, Fox News is available in 90 million homes.
Again, the question is: Are the owners, the Herring family, willing to make a big investment at the risk of advertisers being shamed or boycotted by left-wing activist groups?
And then there’s the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting, which may have the deepest pockets and the most reach by being in 81 markets across the country. But again, there’s big risk in signing O’Reilly, given the target he’ll have on his back for the rest of his career.
At 67, O’Reilly may choose to take some time off to weigh his next move. Perhaps he’ll simply disappear from public view like former CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes did last year at age 76 last year.
But that’s not O’Reilly’s style.
He appears to be a workaholic instead. When he isn’t hosting his show, he’s co-authoring another best-seller and promoting it on other networks. And when he isn’t doing that, he’s touring the country with Dennis Miller and Jesse Watters doing sold-out comedy shows.
Anyone who has done O’Reilly’s job for the past 21 years simply doesn’t go quietly.
Providing opinion and commentary while interviewing names big and small on a nightly basis is his oxygen.
The question now is: What outlet is willing to give him a platform to exhale?