In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s biggest scandal yet, involving the sexual harassment of several women, many sponsors have dropped have dropped O’Reilly’s show, in addition to the millions that Fox has had to pay out to the women that were allegedly harassed.
However, the newest reports have showed that while sponsors are dropping him, this scandal has done something for the host’s popularity after all.
According to USA Today, around 3.8 million watched the O’Reilly Factor this week, when last week that number was just 2.3 million. The 2.3 million is about average for the show. This means that in a week, O’Reilly had a 14 percent bump in viewers.
Last week, even President Trump came to O’Reilly’s defense, telling reporters that the Fox News host was “a good person” who “shouldn’t have settled” the lawsuits.
Among the almost 60 companies that have pulled their ads from the show are Hyundai, BMW, Angie’s List, and GlaxoSmithKline, according to the Washington Post. In fact, there were so few advertisers on last Thursday night’s show that it seemed to abruptly end after 45 minutes, giving way to a 15-minute Shepherd Smith report about the Syrian missile strikes.
For his part, O’Reilly has claimed that he was targeted because of his high media profile and that he settled to “spare his children the pain of messy public ordeals.”
While time will tell whether this spike is due to viewers tuning in due to curiosity or indicative of loyal supporters showing their loyalty, if the Factor can’t pull in advertisers it won’t matter in the long run how many people are watching.