The Wall Street Journal reported last night that, as many suspected, Bill O'Reilly will not return from his current vacation which ends next week.
It took years for the case against former Fox News host Glenn Beck to build as advertisers slowly ditched his show, but the campaign against O'Reilly escalated very quickly. Over 60 companies have pulled their ads from the O'Reilly Factor, creating a financial black hole that is already "worse than Glenn Beck."
And unlike Glenn Beck, O'Reilly's misbehavior is interfering with Rupert Murdoch's grand designs.
One network insider said Fox executives are alarmed by the severity of the ad-revenue decline. “It’s worse than Glenn Beck,” the insider said, referring to the advertiser revolt that helped derail Beck’s Fox News career in 2011.
Another factor: the Murdochs’ pending $14 billion takeover of European pay-TV provider Sky. On May 16, the British media regulator Ofcom is set to judge whether the Murdochs are “fit and proper” to own such a large media property. Removing O’Reilly could appease critics and help close the Sky deal. (In 2011, the Murdochs abandoned their initial takeover offer for Sky after the London phone-hacking scandal.)
In a just world, O'Reilly would be on the out because he's a serial sexual harasser and racist, but that's obviously not the case. He's being handed his hat because he's costing the Murdochs too much money. The truth is cynical.
I suppose we can appreciate the fact that being a horrible person is the reason he's costing them money. It's what Free Market Jesus would want, isn't it?
While we wait for O'Reilly's departure to be formally announced, another accuser came forward last night who says he referred to her as "hot chocolate."
Bill O'Reilly used to leer at an African-American Fox News clerical worker and called her "hot chocolate," according to attorney Lisa Bloom, who helped the woman report the harassment to the network's hotline. [...]
"He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar," Bloom tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared."