The titan of cable news has long been Bill O'Reilly, the star of Fox News channel's evening lineup. He has surfed over and ducked under controversy after controversy while at the channel — but his luck seems to have run out. O'Reilly who went on a planned vacation earlier this month and was due back in the studio April 24, will allegedly not be coming back. Fox News, at the urging of the Murdochs, has reportedly decided to end his contract due to a growing number of sexual harassment allegations, New York Magazine reported Wednesday. Who will replace O'Reilly on Fox News? There are some contenders.
UPDATE: In confirming that O'Reilly would not be returning to the network, Fox News announced that Tucker Carlson will take over O'Reilly's 8 p.m. time slot with his Tucker Carlson Tonight show. The Five will move into Carlson's former 9 p.m. time slot.
EARLIER: With O'Reilly on vacation, the show had been broadcast with guest anchors like Dana Perino and Eric Bolling. But advertisers still didn't return, and the Murdoch family decided that they must address the issue at a board meeting on Thursday.
Perhaps the family is thinking that they won't necessarily be out all that much money because Fox viewers are so loyal to the network. A similar case occurred in January when Megyn Kelly — thought to be the network's newest star — left for NBC News. She was then replaced by Tucker Carlson in the 9 p.m. ET hour, who has surprisingly improved on Kelly's ratings. Perhaps a similar pick could work to fill O'Reilly's earlier spot at 8 p.m.
As for who may replace O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor, his most recent guest anchors would make a lot of sense. Both Perino and Bolling are familiar faces for his audience. Perino has been a co-host on The Five at 5 pm. ET. Business Insider wrote a post on her just days ago noting how she has been taking on a growing role at the network. She has filled in all sorts of roles with interviews and analysis, and before coming to Fox, she worked press in the Bush White House, so she has conservative chops.
As for Bolling, he is also a face on The Five and loves to make arguments about President Obama and other progressives that just don't make a ton of sense. He would then be a great fit for O'Reilly's audience, too. He'll be happy to speak out in favor of Trump's policy's, regardless of the sense it makes, and that could really fit with the network's viewers.
Ratings and ethics ARE NOT THE SAME THING. https://t.co/XBmFQJmyk8— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) April 9, 2017
The Associated Press's TV writer, David Bauder, also pointed out two other possible names, Jesse Waters and Martha MacCallum. Waters would probably be the most right-wing option, where as MacCallum seems to be less political and has filled the role of Kelly on important broadcasts by co-hosting things like Trump's inauguration.
Whomever Fox News chooses, there will be plenty of pressure to keep the ratings up, given that O'Reilly has been the network's top-rated host. Financially, these are big shoes to fill.