Murdoch touts Fox News ratings amid O’Reilly woes

Murdoch touts Fox News ratings amid O’Reilly woes
© Getty

Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Thursday praised the network’s performance amid the controversy over Bill O’Reilly, one of its biggest stars.

“The first few months of this year have already given us much to be thankful for,” he said in a memo to staff, according to Variety.

“Fox News just delivered its highest-rated quarter ever and remains number one in cable in both prime time and total day, while Fox Business has surpassed CNBC as the number one business channel on television,” Murdoch added.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am tremendously proud of our entire team and truly grateful for the hard work everyone has contributed to ensure our continued future success.”

Variety said Murdoch’s memo did not mention O’Reilly, who is dealing with the fallout of multiple sexual harassment allegations against him.

Fox News’s viewership is up 30 percent among adults ages 25–54 in the first quarter, it added, the demographic most coveted by advertisers.

Reports emerged Thursday that “The O’Reilly Factor” has been scaled back from five days to four as its namesake host weathers the backlash against him.

O’Reilly’s program will now air Mondays through Thursdays, with different programing filling his show’s absence at the end of the work week.

The Fox News anchor told viewers at the end of his broadcast Tuesday that he is leaving for a pre-planned vacation and will return in a few weeks.

Reports emerged earlier this month that five women accusing O’Reilly of harassment received a total of $13 million for agreeing not to pursue litigation or talk about their accusations.

Over 90 companies have pulled their ads running during “The O’Reilly Factor” amid widespread outrage over the allegations.