Fox News host Bill O’Reilly may be losing advertisers amid his recently uncovered sexual harassment scandals, but viewers don’t seem to be phased. In fact, not only have “The O’Reilly Factor” ratings not suffered; they’re actually on the rise.
The network’s top-rated show averaged 3.7 million viewers on Monday night and 3.8 million on Tuesday. That’s a 14 percent increase from the same two nights the previous week. Last week, O’Reilly’s traffic ranged from just 2.3 million viewers on Friday night to 3.5 million on Wednesday.
The uptick in ratings comes after The New York Times revealed over the weekend that Fox News and O’Reilly combined have paid around $13 million in settlements to five different women who have accused the host of “verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating.” The gains that followed could be attributed to O’Reilly’s loyal viewers rallying behind him. However, the cause could also be due to people tuning in to see if he will address the controversy on air, which he has yet to do.
On Wednesday, President Trump came to O’Reilly’s defense, despite having declared April National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, by saying, “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person. I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”