Bill O’Reilly might be out of a job today, but Reuters reports that his one-year severance pay could amount to $25 million.
O’Reilly lost his job after reports that Fox News had paid out a total of $13 million in settlement payouts t0 5 women who accused News host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment. An investigation by the New York Times disclosed that the women were paid for agreeing to keep quiet about O’Reilly’s actions. Fox News appeared to have been more interested in protecting O’Reilly from being outed than it was in protecting future victims.
The New York Times reporter who broke the story was Emily Steel, who herself is a former Fox News employee. She joined the Times in 2015 and in February of that year reported on O’Reilly’s tall tales about the Falklands war. O’Reilly was very upset with her and told her:
“I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”
Steel told CNBC she was surprised by O’Reilly’s termination. Fox had protected him for so long, he seemed to be coated with Teflon. But after the sordid history came to light, advertisers began distancing themselves from the Fox News host, and pulling their money from the station. The loss in revenue forced the news organization to throw up its hands and finally pull the plug on O’Reilly.
It isn’t clear if his contract requires a full one-year severance payout if termination is based on cause.