One tweet on Tuesday afternoon referred to Billy O’Reilly’s career as host of The O’Reilly Factor in past tense, suggesting that O’Reilly may already be done at Fox News.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Tuesday that Matt Drudge, creator and editor of the Drudge Report, tweeted that “O’Reilly has had a tremendous run,” referring to Bill O’Reilly’s long tenure with Fox News as host of The O’Reilly Factor.
Bill O’Reilly has been on vacation from The O’Reilly Factor for over a week now, due to recent sexual harassment accusations.
Although rumors have been swirling since Tuesday that Fox News plans to end its relationship with Bill O’Reilly as host of The O’Reilly Factor, a new report on Wednesday by the Baltimore Sun says that Fox News has until the end of the week to make a decision, adding that “the top-rated show host on cable news is not out yet.”
However, Matt Drudge’s tweet on Tuesday may suggest that he knows something about the fate of Bill O’Reilly and The O’Reilly Factor that no one else does, leaving Twitter users asking, “What does Drudge know that we don’t?”
O'Reilly has had tremendous run. Very few in the business get to decide when and how things end. Media is most brutal of all industries...— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) April 18, 2017
Drudge implied via the tweet, which has since been retweeted nearly 1,000 times, that Bill O’Reilly simply chose to end his nearly 21-year run with Fox News as prime-time host of The O’Reilly Factor, following recently surfaced sexual harassment allegations that were raised by KFI radio host Wendy Walsh and “five other female accusers” earlier this month, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr.
Other Twitter users are calling the tweet “fake news,” mainly because Drudge, a right-leaning political commentator, has a history of exaggerating news stories. Matt Drudge’s news aggregation website, the popular Drudge Report, actually started out as a gossip column in 1995 that focused on scandals and breaking news stories out of Hollywood and Washington, D.C.
“Matt Drudge has the audacity to imply that O’Reilly chose this ending freely. This is as fake as news can get, right here.”
As reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Murdochs, including Fox News creator Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan, are “leaning toward taking Bill O’Reilly off the air” as host of The O’Reilly Factor, per AXIOS, other reports say that Bill O’Reilly may not have lost the support of Rupert Murdoch just yet.
According to Variety, “Rupert Murdoch is more protective of O’Reilly than are his sons James and Lachlan, who see the embattled host as a liability.”
Bill O’Reilly has remained silent on Wendy Walsh’s accusations that he refused her as a regular contributor on The O’Reilly Factor after she turned down an invitation to his hotel room in 2013, but My News LA reported that Bill O’Reilly’s camp, along with the Washington Post and Fox News, are “vigorously contesting Walsh’s allegations” and finding holes in her story.
Viewership of The O’Reilly Factor continues to drop with substitute hosts, as Bill O’Reilly continues vacation until April 24. Metroland Media reported on Wednesday that The O’Reilly Factor has lost more than 20 percent of its viewers through four days of Bill O’Reilly’s nearly two-week hiatus.
Even so, Bill O’Reilly continues to have supporters who say that Wendy Walsh continued to appear on The O’Reilly Factor even after the alleged “hotel encounter,” as reported by the Toronto Star. Some supporters even say that they won’t watch Fox News if Bill O’Reilly and The O’Reilly Factor is taken off the air.
However, reports conclude that since advertisers have already pulled away from The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News will more than likely not bring Bill O’Reilly back at the end of the week. AXIOS reported that Fox News would “love to bring in an outside, non-political big name from another network” to replace Bill O’Reilly and The O’Reilly Factor.
The Hill discusses some possible replacements for Bill O’Reilly.
Bill O’Reilly’s television future outside of Fox News and The O’Reilly Factor doesn’t look promising, as the Hollywood Reporter recently discovered that Bill O’Reilly tops the “very unfavorable list” of popular T.V. news personalities, among both Clinton and Trump supporters. The Hill also reported on Wednesday that nearly half of all respondents to a recent poll, including Bill O’Reilly’s own viewers, think that Fox News should cancel The O’Reilly Factor.
For nearly a year now, chatter has swirled about who would hire Bill O’Reilly if he ever did depart Fox News and The O’Reilly Factor. The Washington Post reported in July of 2016 that because of his “nightly bullying” on The O’Reilly Factor, “distorting the news,” and “kicking up journalistic embarrassment after journalistic embarrassment,” Bill O’Reilly would have a “whopper of a time selling himself outside of Fox News.”
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