Now that Bill O’Reilly has been fired, will there be more shakeups at Fox News?

As we discussed yesterday, Bill O’Reilly has been fired from Fox News. As I was writing up the pre-firing story yesterday morning, I had a weird premonition that Wednesday was going to be the day and I should get the “everyone says O’Reilly is going to be fired” story published quickly, because everything would be happening soon. Sure enough, just hours later, Fox News announced that O’Reilly had been sh-tcanned. So what has the general reaction been? For the most part, it just feels like… too little, too late. Personally, I can’t believe it took this long. But I also can’t believe that people were so “shocked” by the reporting about all of the payouts to O’Reilly’s harassment victims. Hilariously, this was Breitbart’s headline: “Bill O’Reilly’s Secret: He Was a Centrist, Not a Conservative.” Hahahahaha. Well, sure, I guess someone is buying that.

So, what’s next for O’Reilly and what’s next for Fox News? For now, Tucker Carlson is getting O’Reilly’s time slot, which… good luck with that, because Carlson is awful. Now Vanity Fair reports that many inside Fox News are worried that there are more scandals and firings to come:

Inside the divided Fox News bunker, many seasoned executives are wondering if they are living in an alternate universe. As shocking as the Roger Ailes fiasco may have been, and as surprising as Megyn Kelly’s departure went down, Bill O’Reilly’s sudden ouster has absolutely shaken the newsroom, according to multiple insiders. (Ailes has fervently denied all accusations.) Executives spent a contentious Wednesday in various closed-door meetings as they finalized the fate of the network’s biggest star, who was forced out amid news of sexual-harassment allegations and settlements of those allegations.

The reactions to the news of O’Reilly’s departure were decidedly mixed in the newsroom. Some staffers cried. Others were elated. The move also laid bare divisions between the Murdoch sons, Lachlan and James, and their father, who were on opposite sides of the argument about whether to retain the anchor, according to a person close to the family. Eventually, though, Rupert Murdoch agreed with his sons about the need to remove O’Reilly, this person added. And the day was filled with an ominous tension as the elder Murdoch, the network’s C.E.O., moved from one closed-door meeting to another to inform on-air talent of their new jobs….Within Fox News, it remains unclear how much O’Reilly may receive in severance, but some sources speculated that the figure could be in the ballpark of the $40 million that Ailes received.

The move to dethrone O’Reilly, once unimaginable, crystallized over the past week, as advertisers continued to flee his show, more women came forward, and, perhaps most important, Fox News management came to realize that there was no way to stem the possibility that more accusers might surface, anonymously or not, and that O’Reilly would be a liability for the company as long as he stayed on at the network.

Today, the network has 13 of the top 15 cable shows, but some wonder how much longer that will last. Within the newsroom, some are simply astonished by what has transpired at Fox News. In less than a year, Fox News has lost its two biggest stars, and saw its mastermind evicted. Now the pressure falls upon Tucker Carlson, who joined the prime time lineup a few months ago, and will now fill O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. slot. The Five, which helped popularize the “leg cam,” will move to 9 p.m.

The most unsettling feeling among some at Fox News, however, is that Wednesday’s events are only the beginning. “There’s more to come,” one Fox News insider told me, suggesting that there are more women with stories of harassment who have not come forward publicly. This estimation was affirmed by two people who heard such stories directly. Others are equally concerned about the attention that is being drawn to 21st Century Fox’s handling of the allegations by women inside the company.

Rupert Murdoch spent part of Wednesday trying to allay fears within his organization. In an internal memo, he told his colleagues, “Most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.” But not everyone in the Fox News orbit is prepared to move forward just yet. Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky in their suits against Ailes, appears willing to fight on. “A couple of men close to retirement got pushed into retirement early with a whole lot of money,” she said in a statement. “Until Fox News releases every woman from confidentiality and arbitration agreements and until they get rid of the executives who enabled the harassment, the workplace will not be safe for women.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Over the past year, as I read the accusations from Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson and other female Fox News employees (past and present), what I kept coming back to was “what century do these men think they’re living in?” The harassment and misogyny throughout Fox News just came across as so dated, like every man employed there honestly believed they were living the Mad Men life. I’ve worked in a handful of sh-tty offices, but it seems like walking into Fox News HQ must be like stepping into a completely different era. Maybe that’s why all of those Fox News journalists are so nostalgic for “the old days,” the days when you could threaten to fire a leggy blonde if she didn’t submit to your sexual whims.

Photos courtesy of Getty.


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33 Responses to “Now that Bill O’Reilly has been fired, will there be more shakeups at Fox News?”

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  1. Clare says:

    Doubt it.

    I’m 99% sure this firing is linked to the Murdoch’s wanting to buy Sky – its straight up reputation risk management. If they cared about women, or humans, the cretin would have been fired BEFORE they paid out huge sums of money to keep his victims quiet.

  2. Kiki says:

    It looks like the conservative train is in a complete mess right now. All I can say is this…. “Bye MITCHESSSSSS”.

  3. Bridget says:

    I am so cynical about this. How long until O’Reilly is hired again?

  4. Jenns says:

    It’s a garage network. Given how much they have tried to cover up, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if more stuff came out. And let’s not forget that they only fired O’Reilly because the NYT reported on the entire situation. If that news didn’t break, he would still be in the same time slot and free to terrorize women.

    I said this yesterday, but Bill will be just fine. There will be a break for him, but he will return somewhere and blame the liberals for doing this to him. He’ll get the rating, he’ll get the attention and he’ll be back to his old self.

  5. PunkyMomma says:

    Expect more dirt to come out on O’Reilly. (I still have suspicions regarding Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s surprising decision to leave her beloved Faux News.)

    Hopefully, the Murdoch sons will finally toss out that bottom-feeder, Geraldo Rivera, too.

  6. Beth says:

    Over the years, I’ve heard stories about him being a scumbag. On his show he was known to tell nonsense stories and news. Fox News is the channel that’s been caught telling the most fake news. It probably took so long to fire him because he fit right in. The Fox News sucker fans made him the most watched cable news show for so long. That pig should never have had a show and should never have another one. He’s a disgusting pig

  7. Eric says:

    Maybe the entire network can disappear along with InfoWars and Breitbart.

    Pretty Please?

  8. QQ says:

    Is gonna be DEEElightful if this Sh!tCastle crumbles because all the Fembots they foisted upon us through the years heard the dogwhistle embedded in this election ( The Handmaiden’s Tale Is coming for your life/pockets and vaginas) and joined into a Sexual Harasser Crushing Voltron and this sinks Fox News which is fine and dandy really since their constituency is dying , as you do, when you are old and decrepit.

    Once again Giving Mother Maxine her due, for very casually saying doing the layup so any good Investigative report worth their salt could alley -up and thus we are here

  9. robyn says:

    How about some factual news for a change? It would be nice if Fox stopped slanting stories to advance the Republican agenda and care more democracy and truth.

    • Kitten says:

      If they did that, they would say good-bye to their entire viewership.

      People who watch Fox do so because it confirms their biases. They don’t want to hear a differing opinion and they certainly don’t want to be challenged.

    • Jennifer says:

      They are on record as saying they are an entertainment arm of the industry. Therefore, they are not required to report actual news, or to be truthful. The one thing I wish they were required to do is to advertise themselves as such, rather than pretending to be a news source.

  10. Layla Beans says:

    I think (my theory only) that James and Lachlan Murdoch don’t like the mess Faux News is, and they’re the ones pushing for a cleanup. Whether it’s just reputation management because of Sky, or they actually see the probs for what they are, or they don’t like being a tool for the Russians (which it appears they are by proximity), I think something big is afoot. I think when Old Man Murdoch croaks, the Faux News we have now will be a thing of the past. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. I also think Elizabeth Hasselbeck was also a victim of Ailes, O’Reilly or both. She was way too noisy about her love of Faux News, and she barely made 2 years and now all you hear is crickets.

  11. tmot says:

    Not until they need to distract us from more dangerously reckless bullshit from DC.

  12. The Old KC says:

    I totally agree that it’s way overdue; that it’s a shame he’ll still profit in the form of a massive payout as his door hits him in the ass on his way out; and that he’ll more than likely be back (since evil trolls just won’t seem to die in our current political environment). My only comment aside from all that is as follows: I laughed at the part in the excerpt when they referred to meetings with Fox’s ‘on-air talent’. That “talent” should have been put in big, fat quotation marks. As in, the South Park episode when the record execs call in cartoon Jennifer Lopez and say, thank you for your time and (air quotes) “talent”.

    Talent at totally f***ing up our country with a glint in their eyes? Mmm…okay, I’ll give you that one.

  13. Kasey says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t consider it a ‘firing’ if the firee gets to leave with $40m? That’s a pay off. Most people get jack when fired.