Bill O’Reilly did not address the wave of advertiser defections that have hit his top-rated Fox News Channel program during Tuesday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Over the past two days, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW and more than a dozen other blue-chip advertisers have withdrawn spots from the show amid the scandal over sexual harassment allegations leveled at the veteran Fox News host.
Tuesday’s episode included no less than 15 promo spots for Fox News’ sibling Fox Business Network channel. The most prominent national advertiser in Fox News’ authenticated live stream of the show (which featured different spots from the linear broadcast) was AT&T, which ran three corporate image-burnishing spots during the hourlong seg. Home Depot also had a spot in the final break. There were seven ads for financial services firm Voya.
Fox News acknowledged the advertiser pullouts in a statement from a senior advertising sales exec.
“We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs,” Paul Rittenberg, Fox News’ exec VP of advertising sales.
The bulk of Tuesday’s “O’Reilly Factor” was devoted to examining the question of whether former Obama administration National Security Advisor Susan Rice ordered the “unmasking” of the names of Americans found in contact with foreign intelligence targets in surveillance collected by the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency. O’Reilly and guests dug into the latest information about Rice and parsed her recent statements on the matter, including the interview she gave to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.
O’Reilly’s alleged history of inappropriate behavior with female co-workers was the subject of an expose in Saturday’s edition of the New York Times. The Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News have reached settlements with five women totaling at least $13 million. O’Reilly has said the claims had no merit but were settled to protect his children.