Fox stock holds steady following O'Reilly firing

Paola Ditto
Aprile 21, 2017

The O'Reilly Factor is the most watched program on Fox News and is coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Precisely two weeks later, Ailes resigned.

On April 5, Trump told the New York Times that O'Reilly shouldn't have settled, adding, "I don't think Bill did anything wrong".

Following the Times story, 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). "But thank God it stopped now with Bill O'Reilly at Fox". FILE - In this April 6, 2016 file photo, Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration in NY. 21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday, April 19, 2017, .

The downfall of Fox's most popular - and most lucrative - personality began with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly, who continued to deny any wrongdoing in a statement hours after he was sacked. Fans loved his willingness to talk back to power or point out hypocrisy among liberal politicians or media members.

"In many ways, he led Fox's cable news revolution", said Frank Sesno, a journalism professor at George Washington University and former CNN Washington bureau chief.

And he keeps echoing in the broader media landscape. President Trump, a frequent guest on O'Reilly's program, voiced his support for the commentator after news of his plight got out.

Hill, 60, is now a professor at Brandeis University.

. She said she wouldn't go on O'Reilly's show, despite the high-profile platform it provided, for a few years afterward.

O'Reilly's show, "The O'Reilly Factor", is the top-rated show on Fox News. It is down more than 3 percent since an April 1 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly. O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing.

Murdoch said "we did a thorough investigation, a thorough review, and we reached a conclusion".

"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in the memo.

Shares were up 63 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $30.44 in Thursday afternoon trading.

A Vatican photograph showed O'Reilly shaking hands with Pope Francis after a general audience Wednesday, but it was not clear if the Pope knew who the television host was. She claimed that every time he walked by her, she could feel him looking at her cleavage and "leering" at her. Burgess said O'Reilly had no reason to be near her desk.

Consider what happened after Roger Ailes stepped down as head of Fox News last July, also following multiple sexual harassment charges. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased.

O'Reilly had ruled the "no spin zone" on television with a quick smile and an even quicker temper. "Half of the fun that they have with their audiences comes from watching the outrage that they manage to provoke".

Ailes was paid more than $40 million on the way out. The book, ironically, includes advice from O'Reilly on treating women with respect.

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