Is Fox News preparing for a future without Bill O’Reilly? If New York Magazine’s Gabe Sherman is correct, that could become a reality in the very near future.
Sherman reports that while Rupert Murdoch is resisting attempts to fire O’Reilly, sons James and Lachlan have been arguing for just that after several women accused the longtime host of sexual harassment.
Since the allegations were made public, advertisers have fled the show, and the decline in ad revenue has alarmed Fox News executives, according to Sherman.
O’Reilly went on vacation after his show on April 12, and speculation is swirling that Fox will dump him before his scheduled return on April 24.
If O’Reilly is fired—something that was all but unimaginable a month ago—it would likely put a big dent in the ratings and profits of Fox News. O’Reilly, who has been the top-rated cable news program for 16 years, will not be easy to replace ratings-wise. That has already been evident by the large ratings drop-off since O’Reilly has been on vacation—giving Fox News executives a glimpse of a post-O’Reilly world. And lower ratings translate into lower ad revenues.
Should Fox News decide to part company with O’Reilly, my vote for his replacement is Martha MacCallum, who has been hosting The First 100 Days at 7 p.m. and has scored some very solid ratings numbers since the show’s debut three months ago.