With Bill O’Reilly taking a break from TV as his Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” struggles through an advertiser revolt, a piece published Thursday by The New York Times examines some of the less visible elements of O’Reilly’s empire — including books, speaking engagements and philanthropic activities.
“In 2012, when the Independence Fund, a small nonprofit organization dedicated to improving mobility for wounded veterans, was only a few years old, it raised $614,000 in contributions,” The Times reports. “The next year, after Mr. O’Reilly began speaking about the organization’s work on his show, contributions skyrocketed to $19 million.”
The story reports that O’Reilly made more than $7 million in grants and contributions from 2005 through September 2015, largely through a foundation set up in his parents’ name.
In publishing, O’Reilly is “one of the biggest names at Henry Holt, a 151-year-old imprint that also publishes books by esteemed writers like Hilary Mantel and Paul Auster,” The Times reports. “The company has invested heavily in Mr. O’Reilly, with good reason: His books are huge and reliable best sellers. His ‘Killing’ series, which he started in 2011 and writes with Martin Dugard, has more than 17 million copies in print, according to a Holt spokeswoman.”
O’Reilly has also maintained a nationwide schedule of speaking engagement, the report notes. “In late January, he appeared as a speaker at the Centurion Jewelry Show in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he called Mr. Trump impulsive and said his critics would try to impeach him,” The Times reports.
Other groups that have reportedly hosted O’Reilly as a speaker include the nonprofit Crime Stoppers of Houston, the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago, the Executives Breakfast Club of Oak Brook, Ill., and the leadership development group Gama International.
Here’s a clip of a visit by O’Reilly a few years ago to the Independence Fund in San Diego …