The New York Times reported today that Bill O’Reilly received “up to $25 million” in severance pay after he was forced out of his job yesterday in the wake of “mounting allegations” of harassment. That’s eye-opening enough. But consider how that’s nearly twice as much as was paid to his victims.
Here’s what today’s New York Times reported on O’Reilly’s payout:
Bill O’Reilly is leaving Fox News with a payout of up to $25 million, the equivalent of one year of his salary, two people briefed on the matter said Thursday.
For 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News now total more than $85 million. The vast majority of that — up to $65 million in exit packages — is being paid to the men who were ousted from the network because of the harassment allegations.
Apparently, the Times came to the $85 million by adding O’Reilly’s $25 million to the $40 million former CEO Roger Ailes reportedly received as a payout and to the $20 million settlement to former host Gretchen Carlson (who accused Ailes). The Times did not seem to include in its calculations settlements to former contributor Tamara Holder, who received a comparatively measly $2.5 million for allegedly having her mouth shoved to the exposed penis of a vice president at Fox News Latino. Nor the other five women who have accused Ailes.
Nevertheless, Fox saw the scenario of O’Reilly getting pushed out when it renewed his contract recently, the Times made clear, and the network deliberately put in the new contract some “protections” for itself.
Those included a provision that Mr. O’Reilly could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations against him or if new ones arose, according to one person briefed on the matter. The contract also included provisions meant to get Mr. O’Reilly to address his behavior, the person said.
In addition, though the contract was extended, it also modified the company’s financial commitment to Mr. O’Reilly if he was dismissed, so that he would receive a maximum of one year salary, according to two people. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations.
In other words, Fox knew it had a problem on its hands with O’Reilly and it was still willing to risk $25 million to keep him.
Watch the Times’ video below that recaps O’Reilly’s career at Fox.
The Foxies are not out of the woods-yet. There are others who are involved in this corrupted house of demons network. That foolish broad in Human Resources needs to go, as well as Bill Shine, that useless, no good executive suit.
NOTE TO MURDOCHS
You are not through cleaning house. There are several others that still maintain employment, and unless they are gone, Fox “News” advertisers will be notified.
Pappa Bear has run out of caves.
O’Reilly’s real punishment is going to be the denial of what he wanted most over the next decade or two – the status of being an “elder statesman” like Brit Hume or better yet, a less stuffy George Will. O’Reilly had been pushing for this in his appearances on other Fox News shows – presenting himself as the elder expert on matters political whenever asked to provide some sage wisdom on current events. He’d been maneuvering to become the next Brit Hume of the network, where he could make one or two appearances a week and be paid to just expound on his opinions but not need to actually put together a full hour five times in that same period. It’s a nice gig if you can get it. That, plus the inevitable speaker engagements would be enough to not only further line his pockets but also flatter his ego.
Instead, O’Reilly is now a pariah at the network and can’t really be picked up by any legitimate outlet. He could always go with Breitbart or Glenn Beck’s foundering network or even Newsmax if they’ll take him. But it’s more likely that he’ll just go with retirement and make the usual appearances at Right Wing events where he won’t be subject to any tough questions.
I’ll be curious to see if Fox News tries to sneak O’Reilly on as a commentator in another year or two.