Fox has made it official that Bill O’Reilly will anchor The O’Reilly Factor Monday through Thursday going forward. Fox will broadcast the Friday Factor on the other weekday evening. The Friday night show will be anchored by different hosts, some of whom will include familiar faces Jesse Watters, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace.
Of course, for almost a half year the Friday broadcast of the Factor has been hosted by guests, with O’Reilly himself only doing so twice in the last five months. The format of the Friday show has remained the same thus far, and a Fox spokesperson declined to say whether any changes to the show would be made going forward.
While Bill O’Reilly continues to be the Fox host with the highest ratings among that network’s all-star lineup, recently Fox and O’Reilly have fallen under heavy scrutiny as news has leaked that the host and network have paid $13 million to five women since 2002 to reach out-of-court settlements on allegations of sexual harassment.
To date, O’Reilly has denied all charges while maintaining that, as a big star with deep pockets, he is a magnet for these kind of lawsuits.
Also, despite the consistently stratospheric ratings of O’Reilly’s show, over 90 companies have pulled advertisements from The O’Reilly Factor since news of the allegations broke. In addition, paid advertising on O’Reilly’s show has dropped from a March average of more than 14 minutes per show to under five minutes on the program airing last Friday.
It has been reported by media outlet Western Journalism that, while Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, a key supporter of O’Reilly, is advocating to keep the prime-time host, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wants to remove O’Reilly from the evening lineup.
With all the controversy swirling, Mr. O’Reilly has announced he will take a vacation until April 24.
“We all need R&R. Put it to good use,” O’Reilly explained.