O’Reilly’s ratings take a shocking turn as advertisers jump ship

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Fox News Bill O’Reilly experienced a surge in ratings last week following allegations that he and Fox News together paid a total of $13 million to five women who filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

In the week his name was splashed all over headlines, “The O’Reilly Factor” averaged more than 3.7 million total viewers and 652,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, reports The Hill.

According to Nielsen Research, O’Reilly’s show increased 28 percent in total viewership and 42 percent in the key demographic that advertisers covet most when compared to the same week in 2016.

O’Reilly was also the top-rated basic cable show on Friday in both total viewers with 3.8 million and in the 25-54 demographic with 759,000 viewers. Those numbers also beat NBC’s “First Date” and Fox’s “Rosewood” on broadcast television.

O’Reilly’s ratings climbed even as Fox News confirmed on Sunday that it plans to launch an investigation into a claim that the prime time host sexually harassed Wendy Walsh in 2013, a routine guest on “The O’Reilly Factor,” who filed the complaint with the network’s workplace misconduct hotline last week with her lawyer present, former NBC contributor Lisa Bloom.

Walsh also posted a video of her complaint on YouTube.

She alleges that O’Reilly did not follow through on a verbal agreement to make her a network contributor after she declined an invitation to his hotel room following dinner with him in 2013. She said that she had not received a settlement and was not seeking one.

Walsh’s lawyer stated, “We will fully cooperate with any investigation.” Bloom added, “Again, Wendy is not seeking any money, just accountability.”

21st Century Fox has issued this statement regarding the allegations: “21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters.”

The report claims that Paul Weiss is the same law firm hired by 21st Century Fox to investigate sexual harassment claims against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes following a lawsuit filed by former host Gretchen Carlson. Ailes resigned only days into the investigation.

After the news broke of the sexual harassment complaint against O’Reilly, over 60 advertisers pulled their advertisements from his program and were moved to other programs on the same network.

Overall for the week of Apr. 3-7, Fox News placed five programs in the basic cable Top-10 ratings rankings for total viewers, with “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five,” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” making the cut.

H/T: The Hill

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