Hours after Fox News and Bill O’Reilly announced they had ended their working relationship after 21 years, Dana Perino was tasked with saying goodbye in O’Reilly’s old time slot.
Perino had been scheduled to fill in on what was formerly called “The O’Reilly Factor,” but was rebranded as simply “The Factor.”
“Before we get to any other big stories of the day, we want to address a situation many of you may already be aware of,” Perino said at the top of the program. “Bill O’Reilly, who hosted this program for 20 years, is leaving the Fox News Channel. We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this, and we will talk more about it later in the program.”
Despite fears of a big dip, the first episode of “The Factor,” in a post-O’Reilly Fox News world didn’t falter in ratings. According to CNN, 600,000 more people tuned in on Wednesday’s show than the night before.
On Monday, Fox’s new primetime lineup debuts, anchored by Tucker Carlson at 8:00 p.m.