Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bill O'Reilly Takes Vacation Amid Uproar

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly announced he is going on a pre-planned vacation, less than two weeks after a controversy broke out over the news that he and the network made settlement payments to women who accused him of sexual harassment. reports The Wall Street Journal.

At the end of Tuesday night’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor,” the host said he would be off for an Easter-related vacation starting Wednesday and would return on April 24.

“We all need R&R,” he said as he concluded the telecast. “I like to take some time off around Easter. It’s calming.”

Clouds have surrounded Mr. O’Reilly since the New York Times reported on April 1 that he and Fox News paid $13 million in settlements to five women who either worked on his program or appeared on-air and accused him of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.

Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox declined to comment on Mr. O’Reilly’s break from the show. Advertisers have fled “The O’Reilly Factor” since the revelations of the harassment settlements.

Ratings, however, have remained strong for the show, which averages close to 4 million viewers every night.

Meanwhile, An analysis of TV commercial logs by Kantar Media has quantified the rapid exodus of advertisers in recent days from O’Reilly Factor on Fox News and a dearth of replacements to fill the void.

Since the April 1st report in The New York Times of settlement payments to women who accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment, the amount of ad time from paying sponsors in his weeknight prime time show has fallen by more than 50 percent.

In the four weeks prior to the revelation an average prime time telecast of O’Reilly Factor carried 33 national spots totaling 14 minutes, 32 seconds (14:32 mm:ss) of commercial time. (These figures exclude promotional announcements by Fox News and local ad time sold by cable system operators). Post-revelation, paid commercial time bottomed out on April 7th at seven spots and 4:40 mm:ss before rebounding in the April 10th telecast to eleven spots and 7:20 mm:ss.

With well-known national brands exiting the program over the past week, the sponsor lineup is now heavily tilted towards direct response marketers and other small-budget brands that are typically opportunistic purchasers of remnant inventory.

ALSO READ: Activists Targeting O'Reilly Sponsors. Click Here

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