Bill O’Reilly’s problems are multiplying as now nine major advertisers have decided to forgo promoting their brands during his time slot on Fox News.
9 companies pull O'Reilly ads: Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, GSK, Sanofi, Constant Contact, UNTUCKit, Ainsworth, Allstate https://t.co/UHieteERnQ
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 4, 2017
O’Reilly has denied the claims have merit — but that hasn’t stopped the sponsor pullback. The show draws 4 million viewers nightly and generated $446 million in advertising from 2014 to 2016, according to research firm Kantar Media.
The Times reported that the five women have received settlement payments totaling $13 million from either Fox or O’Reilly himself.
“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” said O’Reilly in a statement on Saturday. He noted that during his two decade-long tenure no one had filed a complaint about him with the Human Resources Department.
He didn’t deny that he had made the payments, instead saying, “I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
Whether or not Fox News will make bigger changes at the show comes down to how it affects the bottom line, said Richard Levitt, CEO of the Levick crisis-management firm.
“The question is will other advertisers follow suit and then how will Fox viewers respond?” he told NBC News.”If other advertisers start to pull their advertising then Fox will have to change.”
“But they’re gonna do the math on this and check it pretty closely before they make a change,” Levitt added.
As of right now, there is no noise that O’Reilly is in any danger of losing his spot in one of Fox New’s prime time slots. However, several major sponsors dropping your show does not bode well for the long term. It is unclear what, if any, changes will be made.