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The 'O'Reilly Factor' isn't going anywhere
Bill O'Reilly won't be leaving the Fox News family any time soon.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the O'Reilly Factorstar has renewed his contract with the network, amid the controversial revelation byThe New York Times that O'Reilly and/or Fox had paid more than $13 million to resolve sexual harassment and verbal abuse claims made against the long-time television personality by staffers and guests of the show.
As the Times revealed, five settlements have been paid out by the network since the early 2000s, two of which reportedly came shortly after chairman Roger Ailes was shown the door for his own sexual harassment scandal in July, 2016.
Even so, Fox reportedly stood by O'Reilly, and the on-air personality himself said in a statement: "Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline. But most importantly, I'm a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children."
Of the decision to settle some of those supposedly meritless claims, Fox's parent company Twenty-First Century Fox said (via Reuters), "While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O'Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr. O'Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News."
Indeed, with his contract renewal, it looks like Fox News is certainly banking on its ratings sensation surviving the storm. The O'Reilly Factor was rated the No. 1 cable news show in 2015 and 2016.