Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to Fox News.
The brazen on-air personality was axed from his longtime US cable-TV home on April 19, weeks after the New York Times exposed (paywall) a string of settlements tied to sexual harassment and other allegations against him.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
O’Reilly had been on vacation for the past week and was scheduled to return April 24.
Even with the scandal—and a new harassment claim to boot—Fox’s decision to cut ties with O’Reilly was something of a shock. His show, The O’Reilly Factor, has the strongest ratings on the US cable network, and in all of cable news. And the controversy only sent viewership soaring.
But there is one rather obvious reason the Murdochs wouldn’t let him back on the air: The money.
At least 80 companies representing more than 100 brands that have recently advertised on The O’Reilly Factor had pulled their ads from the show, reported Media Matters. The watchdog group ran a campaign to get advertisers to drop out of the show.
In 2016, those brands spent an estimated $35 million on The O’Reilly Factor, according to data from third-party measurement firm iSpot.tv, which tracks national-TV ad airings.
Those advertisers included blue-chip brands like Mercedes-Benz, which aired 31 different ads an estimated 160 times last year, the iSpot.tv data showed, insurance brands like Geico, and pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer.
Recent “The O’Reilly Factor” advertisers who pulled out
iSpot.tv data only includes national TV spots, so this list does not account for local commercials—which are generally cheaper to air—that ran during the show.
Other advertisers walking away from The O’Reilly Factor that weren’t measured by iSpot.tv included AncestryDNA.com, Bamboo HR, Better Business Bureau of Chicago, Coldwell Banker, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Freshpet, Home Advisor, Hulu, InnoGames, MilelQ, Monsanto, Next Day Blinds, Society for Human Resource Management, and Touchnote.
Fox News did not immediately return Quartz’s request for comment on the effect advertising had on the decision.