The cable news world was shocked on Wednesday when it was learned that Bill O’Reilly, once called the “King of cable television” would be leaving Fox News after recent claims of sexual harassment.
But, it turns out, there’s more as to why he was ultimately let go.
An executive at Fox News told Vanity Fair that it’s much worse than what everyone has already heard. “There’s more to come,” said the source who suggested that there are even more women with more horrible stories that haven’t come out yet publicly.
Vanity Fair claims that two executives from Fox News verified this – and stated that 21st Century Fox isn’t handling the allegations very well inside the company.
It looks like Fox News was ultimately forced to let Bill O’Reilly go before things got even more intense at the network. Advertisers were already leaving in droves and the longer Bill stayed on at the network the more people would start coming out publicly.
Fox News’ CEO Rupert Murdoch tried to play damage control for part of the day on Wednesday and sent an inside memo to workers, saying: “Most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.” But, not everyone was buying that.
Nancy Erika Smith, the lawyer who represented Gretchen Carlson and Julie Rogers against Aile at the network claims that Fox News is currently keeping a tight lid on things by not releasing women from their confidentiality agreements. That may be why the other stories haven’t been made public yet, and Fox News is trying to keep them silent by letting them know they are finally taking sexual harassment seriously.
“A couple of men close to retirement got pushed into retirement early with a whole lot of money,” she said in a statement. “Until Fox News releases every woman from confidentiality and arbitration agreements and until they get rid of the executives who enabled the harassment, the workplace will not be safe for women.”
In the past, Fox News stood by O’Reilly with the sexual harassment claims – and even paid millions of dollars in order to settle at least 5 of them. With the loss of public confidence now reaching an all-time high, however, it appears that they could only protect him for so long.
It’s been reported that Mr. O’Reilly will still receive somewhere around $40 million in compensation from the network.