I recently spoke to NBC about Fox News Channel’s firing of Bill O’Reilly, which stirred up the public’s interest and indignation.
21st Century Fox, the parent of Fox News Channel, said in a statement, “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”
It’s no shock that Fox took action quickly, even though The O’Reilly Factor has long been its top show. The brand set a precedent nine months ago, when Fox News and Fox Television Stations Group founder and former CEO and chairman Roger Ailes was ousted due to a sexual harassment lawsuit from former anchor Gretchen Carlson and the scandalous claims that followed from an additional two dozen women.
Bill O’Reilly Responds
O’Reilly’s response was that the sexual harassment claims were unfounded. Whether or not the claims are substantiated, O’Reilly, like all public figures, has to face the consequences of being found guilty in the court of public opinion.
The New York Times reported that five women, including guests and employees of the show, had been paid $13 million in settlement for sexual harassment claims. These days, advertisers and viewers demand transparency and have almost zero tolerance for anything but. They hold networks up to the same moral standards – so Fox made the right choice to quickly fire O’Reilly. It had to be done. Fox’s reputation was tarnished after the Roger Ailes scandal, and the brand had no choice but to get any more corruption out.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States.