Viewership of ‘O’Reilly Factor’ drops without Bill O’Reilly

Viewership of 'O'Reilly Factor' drops without Bill O'Reilly

NEW YORK — Through four days of Bill O’Reilly’s vacation, his show’s viewership declined by 23 per cent in the hands of substitutes Dana Perino, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld.

O’Reilly is on a nearly two-week vacation at the same time Fox News Channel’s parent company looks into a woman’s accusation that her career was slowed when she spurned his advances. Dozens of his show’s advertisers have fled following reports of harassment settlements paid to other women. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing.

Despite the vacation, the pressure is staying on O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, which is looking into at least one complaint about his behaviour. The Wall Street Journal — a newspaper owned by the same Murdoch family that owns Fox News Channel — reported late Tuesday that Fox executives were “preparing to cut ties” with O’Reilly. A spokesman for 21st Century Fox declined to comment to the AP.

Earlier, attorney Lisa Bloom said she was representing a former clerical worker at Fox who complained that day to a hotline established at Fox about O’Reilly’s behaviour during her six months working there in 2008.

The woman, who is African-American, said O’Reilly referred to her as “hot chocolate” at one point when they were together alone, made grunting noises and leered at her cleavage and legs, Bloom said. The woman said she never had a direct conversation with O’Reilly.

The woman, who is not contemplating any legal action, reported being “very stressed and disillusioned” about her job and believed she would be fired if she complained to anyone, Bloom said.

Marc Kasowitz, O’Reilly’s attorney, said that it was “outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations.”

It wasn’t immediately clear who he was referring to.

Bloom, who represents another woman who has complained about O’Reilly’s behaviour, said she is not taking payment for the O’Reilly cases.

Later, Kasowitz said O’Reilly has been subject to a “brutal campaign of character assassination” that is unprecedented in more than 70 years. He said he had evidence that a smear campaign is being orchestrated by “far-left organizations,” but he didn’t immediately release any.

Nielsen company figures show that so far, viewers aren’t as interested in “The O’Reilly Factor” without O’Reilly. Perino has done the best, with her 3.15 million viewers on Monday down 16 per cent from O’Reilly’s performance a week earlier. Bolling also showed a 16 per cent drop from O’Reilly a week earlier, and he reached 3.11 million viewers.

The 2.32 million who watched Gutfeld on Friday was down 39 per cent from the previous Friday and, alarmingly, was even lower than Tucker Carlson’s audience at 9 p.m. Carlson usually benefits from O’Reilly’s strong lead-in.

Still, the substitutes beat their cable news competition. And Fox pointed out that the network finished last week ahead of all cable networks in viewership, as it has for much of this year.

O’Reilly’s viewership spiked in the days following an April 2 New York Times report on the harassment allegations. In the week that followed, viewership increased to an average of 3.71 million, up 12 per cent from the week before the report and 28 per cent over the same week in 2016.

O’Reilly averaged nearly 4 million viewers a night for the first three months of 2017, his best performance ever. Viewership tends to drop with the arrival of daylight savings time.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a women’s group said it planned to hire an airplane with a banner, as well as drop off petitions at Fox News Channel’s New York headquarters, calling for O’Reilly to lose his job at the network.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Fernie Swim team aims for Nationals

Aidan Chudleigh has high hopes for his swim team this year, and… Continue reading

Jaffray Area OCP goes to public hearing

The public hearing will be held November 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Jaffray Community Hall.

Oil dumped illegally at Tie Lake Transfer Station

The Regional District of East Kootenay is searching for any information in… Continue reading

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

First shovel hits ground at Sparwood Skate Park

It was an exciting day on Wednesday, November 8, when the first… Continue reading

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey. White Rock

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

MLAs unanimous on B.C. wildfire recovery

Finance committee calls for rapid salvage, reforestation

One stick of pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

Most Read