When Bill O’Reilly was ousted from Fox News on Wednesday, it was the fall of an icon. O’Reilly’s show was the steady conservative hand at the helm of Fox News for 20 years.
Unfortunately for the hugely successful anchor, a searing New York Times story documenting sexual harassment claims against the pundit spanning more than a decade led to fleeing advertisers and heightened demands for his exit. Though his ratings continued to thrive, O’Reilly’s reputation was marred by allegations of assault.
The Washington Post reported that O’Reilly was still signed to an $18 million-a-year contract despite the popular anchor’s many court settlements. The Post also reported that the contract “contains a clause that enables him to be dismissed under a fixed financial formula, averting protracted negotiations,” which means the network has some outs to avoid giving O’Reilly a full payout upon dismissal. It was also revealed in The Post that O’Reilly was never directly in contact with the Murdochs. Rather, his lawyer, Fred Newman was trying to save O’Reilly’s career.
And while Newman didn’t manage to secure his client’s job, he was able to make sure O’Reilly leaves Fox with a healthy sum. On Thursday morning, CNN cited a source familiar with the negotiations who claimed that O’Reilly was paid “a staggering amount” during the exit maneuverings. However, though O’Reilly was likely paid “tens of millions,” he will not get a full payout like Fox executive Roger Ailes, who was paid $40 million on his way out the door.