Who Will Replace Bill O'Reilly At Fox News? His Departure Leaves A Major Gap
Bill O'Reilly is officially out at Fox News, a company statement confirmed on Wednesday. That confirmation comes on the heels of speculation over who might replace O'Reilly in his 8 p.m. slot on the news network's prime-time round up. For a while now, the rumor mill has been churning out more and more suggestions, given that O'Reilly was under intense national scrutiny following numerous sexual harassment allegations against him, as reported by The New York Times.
O’Reilly’s time slot is perhaps the most desirable option for cable news personalities, especially since his viewership is so strong (4 million viewers every night, according to The Washington Post), and has remained so despite all the allegations. But as advertisers steadily dropped out of The O’Reilly Factor’s programming, it was only a matter of time until Fox News decided to remove O’Reilly from its arsenal. So, who has Fox chosen to take over O'Reilly's time slot? According to 21st Century Fox's statement, Tucker Carlson will get the honors:
Seeing as how Carlson's popularity has steadily risen in the Trump era, this decision by Fox isn't exactly too surprising.
NPR can report that @TuckerCarlson will take O'Reilly's 8 p.m. slot. A new generation takes over the most valuable real estate in cable news— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) April 19, 2017
The prevailing factor in O'Reilly's downfall was a report by The New York Times that uncovered how Fox had defended, protected, and doled out millions in settlements for several sexual harassment allegations brought against him. According to The New York Times,
While pressure has been mounting at Fox over O'Reilly's scandals, it seemed unlikely anything would change until it actually did. Despite advertisers dropping out of programming, The O'Reilly Factor's viewership had a 20 percent increase just weeks ago.
But then, Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox released a statement confirming that O'Reilly had been dropped. "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," the company wrote in a press release.
Of course, O'Reilly's programming will continue this week, but make no mistake: Bill O'Reilly is officially done at Fox. And though Tucker Carlson may not exactly get the warm reception he's hoping for (the host is undeniably divisive, even in conservative circles), for now, he's getting the honor of picking the mantle. As for how long the change lasts? It's anyone's guess.