Fox Is Preparing to Cut Ties With Bill O’Reilly

Popular host has been implicated in a sexual-harassment scandal

 .. Mr. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing, saying he paid settlements to “put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
.. an attorney for Mr. O’Reilly said the host has “been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America” and added that he has “evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons.”
.. His show draws some 4 million viewers a night and is consistently among the highest rated programs across all of cable. Mr. O’Reilly, 67 years old, recently renewed his contract with Fox News at a salary of more than $20 million annually
.. Initially, Fox News and parent 21st Century Fox stood by their highly-rated host. However, as advertisers fled the O’Reilly program, internal debate ensued over the pros and cons of keeping Mr. O’Reilly on the air. Since the Times published its initial report, dozens of advertisers have pulled out of “The O’Reilly Factor,” many of them shifting their ad buys to other programs on Fox News.
.. Mr. O’Reilly’s camp said that the advertiser boycott was being driven in large part by liberal media watchdog group Media Matters and Mary Pat Bonner, a fundraiser with ties to Hillary Clinton.
.. Some social media users were attempting to embarrass companies that were airing ads on Mr. O’Reilly’s show, and several media outlets were calling advertisers to ask what their stance was on the matter.
.. Some employees in senior positions at the company have felt it was important for 21st Century Fox and its senior management team—including Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Co-Chairman Lachlan and Chief Executive James—to send a message regarding Mr. O’Reilly’s alleged conduct to the women of the company, top executives said.

O’Reilly’s Behavior Said to Have Helped Drive Megyn Kelly Out at Fox

“Look, it’s open season,

.. “Let’s whack the Fox News Channel. I’ve had enough of it. It’s a good place to work. All right?”

.. Ms. Kelly, who sent an email to Fox News executives complaining about his behavior and the chilling effect it could have on women at the company and beyond

.. Despite Ms. Kelly’s complaint, and a plea from a producer that Mr. O’Reilly not be allowed to make similar remarks on his prime-time show, Mr. O’Reilly delivered a second public scolding on the program that night.

.. “If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave,” he said.

.. it is apparent to any objective observer that Mr. O’Reilly is being subjected to a malicious campaign intent on harming his reputation and family through speculation and innuendo.”

.. the Murdochs are awaiting the results of an investigation into Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior by the law firm

.. Mr. O’Reilly’s contract with Fox News was extended even as the company was aware of several settlements that had been reached with women who had complained about his behavior.

.. “Give Please a Chance,” his new children’s book about manners.

.. Ms. Kelly said that a man with Mr. O’Reilly’s history had no business publicly lecturing women inside or outside the company about sexual harassment

.. Ms. Kelly added in the email that the push for blind loyalty was the reason the network had gotten into the mess with Mr. Ailes.