O’Reilly’s ratings rise as advertisers flee


Bill O’Reilly’s ratings at Fox News were up last week as news that he paid $13 million to five women who accused him of sexual harassment and improper conduct made headlines.

“The O’Reilly Factor” averaged more than 3.7 million total viewers and 652,000 in the key 25–54 demographic last week.

When compared to the same week in 2016, O’Reilly’s prime-time program was up 28 percent in total viewers and 42 percent in the key demographic that advertisers covet most, according to Nielsen Research. 

{mosads}O’Reilly was also the top-rated basic cable show on Friday in both total viewers, with 3.8 million, and in the 25–54 demographic, with 759,000 viewers. Those numbers also beat NBC’s “First Date” and Fox’s “Rosewood” on broadcast television. 
The positive Nielsen numbers come as 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, confirmed Sunday it will investigate a sexual harassment claim against the 67-year-old host. 

The investigation follows a complaint by Wendy Walsh, a former periodic guest on “The O’Reilly Factor,” who phoned in a complaint to the network’s workplace misconduct hotline last week. Walsh’s complaint was recorded with her lawyer, former NBC contributor Lisa Bloom, and posted on YouTube.

“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” the company said in a statement.

Paul Weiss is the same law firm hired by 21st Century Fox to look into sexual harassment claims against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes following a lawsuit filed by former host Gretchen Carlson. 

Ailes would resign just days after Paul Weiss launched its investigation. 

More than 60 advertisers have pulled their advertisements from O’Reilly’s program. The network indicated last week that ads have been shifted to other programs on the network. 

Overall for the week of April 3 to 7, Fox News placed five programs in the basic cable top 10 ratings rankings for total viewers, with “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” making the cut. 

MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” was the only other cable news program to qualify for the top 10, coming in ninth.


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