O’Reilly on His Way Out at Fox News?

 

The rumor mill keeps spinning faster. From New York magazine:

The Murdochs have decided Bill O’Reilly’s 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.

Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Sources briefed on the discussions say O’Reilly’s exit negotiations are moving quickly. Right now, a key issue on the table is whether he would be allowed to say good-bye to his audience, perhaps the most loyal in all of cable (O’Reilly’s ratings have ticked up during the sexual-harassment allegations). Fox executives are leaning against allowing him to have a sign-off, sources say. The other main issue on the table is money. O’Reilly recently signed a new multiyear contract worth more than $20 million per year. When Roger Ailes left Fox News last summer, the Murdochs paid out $40 million, the remainder of his contract.

According to sources, Fox News wants the transition to be seamless. Executives are currently debating possible replacement hosts. Names that have been discussed include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, and Tucker Carlson, who would move from his successful 9 p.m. slot and create a need for a new host at that time. One source said Sean Hannity is happy at 10 p.m. and would not want to move.

If O’Reilly is on his way out, who would you like to replace him?

There are 85 comments.

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  1. Member

    O’Reilly is one of those guys who rubs me the wrong way – even when I agree with his point. I haven’t watched his show in years, so I won’t miss him.

    How about doing a multi-host Ricochet Show to replace him??? We could argue Trump vs. Never Trump for the next four years every night! Wouldn’t that be fun?

    …On second thought – maybe not.

    • #1
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:18 am
    • 18 likes
  2. Coolidge

    The problem is that there is likely no overlap between hosts I would watch (Steyn, Klavan, etc.) and hosts who would draw sufficient audience to keep the network afloat.

    • #2
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:30 am
    • 6 likes
  3. Coolidge

    @roblong presumably has appeared on RedEye with many of the likely candidates to replace O’Reilly. What does he think? I doubt Bolling or Perino could get the needed ratings.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:33 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Thatcher

    Before her disastrous appearance on The View and subsequent meltdown, I might have suggested Tomi Lahren.

    • #4
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:36 am
    • Like
  5. Inactive

    From the New York Times:

    Two settlements came after the network’s former chairman, Roger Ailes, was dismissed last summer in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, when the company said it did not tolerate behavior that “disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.”

    More:

    Fox News and Mr. O’Reilly adopted an aggressive strategy that served as a stark warning of what could happen to women if they came forward with complaints, current and former employees told The Times.

    Before Ms. Mackris even filed suit, Fox News and Mr. O’Reilly surprised her with a pre-emptive suit of their own, asserting she was seeking to extort $60 million in return for not going public with “scandalous and scurrilous” claims about him.

    And yet Fox professed to be mystified that employees didn’t use its friendly company harassment “hotline”, announcing:

    “…[N]o current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously…”

    Now, “executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network.”

    Seems like they should have thought a lot earlier about the damage they were causing. Instead, they pursued a dual strategy of being combative and sweeping things under the rug.

    Good riddance to O’Reilly. I never liked the show, or the host.

    • #5
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:40 am
    • 5 likes
  6. Member

    Greg Gutfeld’s time has come.

    • #6
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
    • 16 likes
  7. Thatcher

    Well, there are worse faces to have flashing in your face at the airport bar. Reilly is a talent, He has presence, a throwback JFK era newsman vibe (and throwback JFK proclivities), and a no-nonsense shtick that works for a very large centrist conservative slice of America.

    Obviously there may be more high heels to drop, but right now Fox seems simpering. Bolling is a blockhead and the Dana and Jasper show isn’t going to work. The only conservative with presence, Trumpy priors and appealing confrontational style is Laura Ingraham.

    • #7
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
    • 2 likes
  8. Inactive

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    Greg Gutfeld’s time has come.

    Someone suggested on Twitter that Mary Katherine Ham and Jonah Goldberg should co-host a show at O’Reilly’s time slot. Now that’s a show I would watch. I called it #TheHamBergFactor

    • #8
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:45 am
    • 26 likes
  9. Member

    I don’t think it will make that much of a difference who replaces him. Whenever a Fox commentator with a show has transitioned off, the replacement has done just fine. It’s not the personality. It’s the unique conservative perspective that makes the Fox shows lead the cable industry.

    • #9
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:46 am
    • 2 likes
  10. Member

    I can’t take O’Reilly so don’t watch, but he’s being targeted by the usual suspects and should not be fired. Bolling is a light weight, Perino is a delight but wont excite the same folks who like O’Reilly’s moralizing. Fox better get behind its people because this wont stop.

    • #10
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:49 am
    • 1 like
  11. Inactive

    Manny (View Comment):
    I don’t think it will make that much of a difference who replaces him. Whenever a Fox commentator with a show has transitioned off, the replacement has done just fine. It’s not the personality. It’s the unique conservative perspective that makes the Fox shows lead the cable industry.

    Ratings for “The Factor” have been way down since O’Reilly has been on vacation.

    • #11
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:50 am
    • Like
  12. Contributor

    Johnny Dubya (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    Greg Gutfeld’s time has come.

    Someone suggested on Twitter that Mary Katherine Ham and Jonah Goldberg should co-host a show at O’Reilly’s time slot. Now that’s a show I would watch. I called it #TheHamBergFactor

    I really like the match of Ham (is it two m’s on Hamm?) and Goldberg (although maybe not the name choice!). I like them both a lot: smart, articulate and incisive without being nasty. That’d work for me.

    Edit: I never “got” the attraction toward O’Reilly.

    • #12
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:01 am
    • 8 likes
  13. Reagan

    Recent events have show him to be a scumbag so I say good riddance.

    What kind of corporate culture did Fox News have that allowed for these kinds of shenanigans to take place?

    • #13
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:05 am
    • 7 likes
  14. Inactive

    I’ll bet Megyn Kelly is pissed that she left six months too soon. She would have ruled the roost.

    • #14
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:06 am
    • 10 likes
  15. Reagan

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Johnny Dubya (View Comment):

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    Greg Gutfeld’s time has come.

    Someone suggested on Twitter that Mary Katherine Ham and Jonah Goldberg should co-host a show at O’Reilly’s time slot. Now that’s a show I would watch. I called it #TheHamBergFactor

    I really like the match of Ham (is it two m’s on Hamm?) and Goldberg (although maybe not the name choice!). I like them both a lot: smart, articulate and incisive without being nasty. That’d work for me.

    Edit: I never “got” the attraction toward O’Reilly.

    O’Reilly was a populist before it became fashionable on the right to be a populist.

    • #15
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:07 am
    • 9 likes
  16. Member
    TES

    I vote Gutfeld.

    It would be nice to have one center right host in their prime time lineup to mesh with the populist hosts.

    • #16
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:28 am
    • 3 likes
  17. Coolidge

    Tony Sells (View Comment):
    I vote Gutfeld.

    It would be nice to have one center right host in their prime time lineup to mesh with the populist hosts.

    Is Carlson a populist?

    • #17
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:29 am
    • Like
  18. Member
    TES

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Tony Sells (View Comment):
    I vote Gutfeld.

    It would be nice to have one center right host in their prime time lineup to mesh with the populist hosts.

    Is Carlson a populist?

    IMO yes. In fact he’s the most intelligent populist I’ve read.

    I think it would be a good contrast to have a free market personality to go along with him and Hannity.

    • #18
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:38 am
    • Like
  19. Contributor

    Tony Sells (View Comment):
    IMO yes. In fact he’s the most intelligent populist I’ve read.

    I think it would be a good contrast to have a free market personality to go along with him and Hannity.

    Not disagreeing, but what makes Carlson a populist? If he wasn’t a populist, what would he be? He certainly wasn’t a fan of Trump for a long time, and even now has some reservations, I think. BTW, although he can be too aggressive for my taste at times, I like him and appreciate his tenacity and fearlessness, although I don’t watch anything regularly on Fox except for Special Report.

    • #19
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:42 am
    • 4 likes
  20. Member

    But, but, without O’Reilly, who’ll be looking out for the folks??

    • #20
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:45 am
    • 10 likes
  21. Member

    Johnny Dubya (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    I don’t think it will make that much of a difference who replaces him. Whenever a Fox commentator with a show has transitioned off, the replacement has done just fine. It’s not the personality. It’s the unique conservative perspective that makes the Fox shows lead the cable industry.

    Ratings for “The Factor” have been way down since O’Reilly has been on vacation.

    That makes sense. Conservatives don’t appreciate people of questionable moral standings. If my theory holds, his successor should return to the normal O’Reilly ratings.

    • #21
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:58 am
    • Like
  22. Admin

    ctlaw (View Comment):
    @roblong presumably has appeared on RedEye with many of the likely candidates to replace O’Reilly. What does he think? I doubt Bolling or Perino could get the needed ratings.

    Tune in to this week’s Ricochet Podcast (Friday with guest J.D. Vance) and we’ll discuss it.

    • #22
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:59 am
    • 5 likes
  23. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I don’t watch anything regularly on Fox except for Special Report.

    Me too!

    • #23
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:00 am
    • 3 likes
  24. Inactive

    Moderator Note:

    Please avoid the use of demonyms to describe groups of people that include your fellow members.

    I would like to see someone like Mark Steyn or Ben Shapiro

    Given the Trumpkins bent to Fox, I doubt if Shapiro would be hired because he calls out Trump

    Here is a real outsider – Adam Carolla – he as done O’Reilly’s show, He has a pragmatic approach or life

    • #24
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:09 am
    • 2 likes
  25. Thatcher

    A puppet show: Kukla, Fran, & Mollie.

    • #25
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:10 am
    • 6 likes
  26. Reagan

    Glenn (View Comment):
    I would like to see someone like Mark Steyn or Ben Shapiro

    Given the Trumpkins bent to Fox, I doubt if Shapiro would be hired because he calls out Trump

    Here is a real outsider – Adam Carolla – he as done O’Reilly’s show, He has a pragmatic approach or life

    Carolla is far too libertarian for Fox.

    • #26
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:11 am
    • 2 likes
  27. Thatcher

    Fox News is in the unenviable position of either destroying their brand, or revitalizing it. I was halfway through writing a post about this when a phone call interrupted me, then I came back and saw this post. You snooze, you lose.

    I haven’t enjoyed O’Reilly for about the last 5-7 years. I was sick of the non-stop interrupting, the put-downs of people much smarter than him because they refuse to agree with his point of view, the complete lack of interesting guests for long stretches (you always know when Ingraham was on there again that he couldn’t book anyone that day) and the “everybody look – we got nothing, so here are spring break bikinis for no reason” clickbait segments. Even Dennis Miller seemed tired of his crap. So here we go…

    Hannity is fine where he is.

    For everyone else, though, there may be the need to really mix things up. Even with no West-coast feed, the 8 PM EST slot is critical to maintaining viewers throughout the evening. Can Tucker hold them? I doubt it. He’s excellent at times, but when he is off his game… click. Plus, they aren’t going to promote him to 8 PM if he can’t even beat Rachel Maddow regularly.

    I mentioned in another thread that Bill Sammon might be worthy if he’s getting tired of being in management. Great journalism creds (his Strategery book was an instant classic, in my opinion) and great right-wing creds. Can he be interesting for an hour? Not sure.

    Sorry Greg fans, but there is no way prime-time viewers are going to watch Gilbert Gottfried for an hour to start their evening. That’s what my dad calls Gutfield, and my dad is a full-time Fox News watcher. Greg is a late-night guy, and I think he knows it.

    The problem here is there are so many people I like, but once I think of sitting and watching them for a solid hour, they become less attractive. I think Mary Ham and Dana Loesch and Judge Napolitano and Goldberg and Perino and so many others are wonderful in their ten-minute segments, but for an hour? I can’t see it.

    My conclusion? Fox News is in a real pickle here.

    • #27
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • 5 likes
  28. Member

    Too bad he’s leaving before liberals figured out he’s not a conservative. On second thought, that probably would never happen.

    I have no idea about the complaints that were settled, but the present one (Wendy Walsh) is very weak. I guess Fox is just fed up after Ailes.

    • #28
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:18 am
    • 2 likes
  29. Thatcher

    The path of least resistance would be to bring Lou Dobbs over from Fox Business.

    • #29
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:46 am
    • 4 likes
  30. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I really like the match of Ham (is it two m’s on Hamm?) and Goldberg (although maybe not the name choice!). I like them both a lot: smart, articulate and incisive without being nasty.

    The problem with Jonah is his giggling. It really makes it unpleasant for me to listen to him.

    • #30
    • April 19, 2017 at 11:49 am
    • 2 likes
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