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sábado, 3 de febrero de 2018

Bill O’Reilly’s cable comeback was a major flop

It has been almost a year since the public ouster of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News following allegations of sexual harassment. The former king of primetime cable news has seemingly been itching to return to television and was given his chance on Newsmax TV following President Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) address. Unfortunately, O’Reilly’s return to cable news was nothing short of abysmal.

According to recently released ratings by Nielsen, viewership for O’Reilly’s special analysis on President Trump’s SOTU was so low it barely registered at all. This could be a death blow to O’Reilly’s prospects of re-starting his career in cable news.

A Huge Gamble

Since his departure from Fox News, O’Reilly has concentrated on maintaining his base via his podcast, No Spin News, which is found on his personal website. He continues to make weekly appearances on Glenn Beck’s radio show and has appeared once on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News.

O’Reilly has been a frequent guest on Newsmax TV and his “special analysis and coverage” of President Trump’s State of the Union was expected to be a boon to the fledgling network. However, that was not the case.

Mediaite explains:

But even with the former king of cable providing special analysis, the network’s SOTU coverage averaged a paltry 11,000 households, reaching a high of 17,000 households, according to Nielsen rating estimates seen by Mediaite. That, to put it bluntly, is basically a zero in cable news.

At best, O’Reilly drew a negligible amount of viewers to Newsmax TV; at worst, he made no difference whatsoever.

Before appearing on the network for Trump’s SOTU, O’Reilly’s appearance was being touted by Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy. Ruddy stated, “Bill is one of the most remarkable newscasters in history. His frank, no-holds-barred analysis is needed in American media more than ever.”

This was quite a gamble for O’Reilly. Having once been the undisputed king, his name is his brand. His ability to draw a large number of viewers was once his greatest selling point. That’s in question now.

Despite Newsmax TV’s normally low numbers, even doubling of the network’s viewership would have been a victory and O’Reilly could have taken the credit. But now executives have to wonder — was O’Reilly’s success dependent on Fox?

Even more to the point, is it transferable to other networks?

Sketchy Past

Since leaving Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has continued to maintain his innocence of the sexual harassment charges despite payments to six different women.

The Hill detailed the payments and allegations against O’Reilly:

Last April, O’Reilly lost more than 50 advertisers after The New York Times reported that he paid five women $13 million over allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

In October, the Times also revealed that the former “O’Reilly Factor” host had paid $32 million in January 2017 to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl.

Despite the allegations, O’Reilly remains defiant and stated last year that he may return to television to “stop the far left.”

Given the abysmal numbers of his latest foray, he might not get another chance.

O’Reilly took a gamble and lost badly. The king has been de-throned.


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