The number of advertisers pulling their spots from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” has now topped 40, according to CNN, but Fox has had little to say about the situation.
“Bill O’Reilly’s future at Fox News is the number one topic among Manhattan media executives, entertainment agents and journalists,” CNN reports. “But the network is keeping mum. Seemingly the only place where it isn’t being discussed is on Fox News.”
O’Reilly, his show and the network have been under fire since The New York Times reported Saturday that O’Reilly has settled complaints over the years from five women accusing him of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, to the tune of $13 million.
“The matter has only been addressed briefly on Fox’s air, and O’Reilly hasn’t discussed it in the two editions of his show, ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ that have aired since the story broke,” CNN notes. “Fox’s strategy of silence might make sense for now, given that O’Reilly is more than just a profit center for the company: he is an institution there, almost inseparable from the network, and long seemingly invincible.”
The report adds: “Fox News’ relatively subdued response has driven speculation throughout New York media about whether the longtime king of cable news could be on the way out — and whether such a scenario is even plausible.”
The report notes that Fox recently renewed O’Reilly’s contract even though the network knew the Times story would be coming out. The new pact reportedly locks in O’Reilly at least through 2020.