Bill O'Reilly may be gone from Fox, but he's got a rich severance package to ease any pangs. Brian Stelter of CNN reports that the network will pay him "tens of millions" under the exit terms of a lucrative contract he had just signed in March. The exact amount is unknown, but regulatory filings could provide details in the next few months. Variety is more specific, pegging the buyout at $20 million to $25 million. Here's a look at other coverage of the former cable ratings king:
- One thing is clear: The ouster of O'Reilly means that Fox News is now being run by James Murdoch, not his father, Rupert, writes Michael Wolff at the Hollywood Reporter. "And, most immediately, this means that Fox News, that constant irritant in James' view of himself as a progressive and visionary television executive, will begin to change. Virtually overnight."
- So what's next for O'Reilly? Given that he had 4 million nightly viewers, some kind of subscription-based streaming service, free of advertisers, is a possibility. The Los Angeles Times notes, however, that it's not clear whether his core audience of older white males would follow to an internet service. The speaking circuit or a commentary role on regular TV also are possibilities.
- Adds Alan Wolk at Slate: "Critics of O'Reilly are cheering the end of his cable news dominance. But given the possibilities, he'll only really disappear if he wants to do so."
- A big question for Fox is whether O'Reilly's fans were loyal to him or the network. Media writer Jim Rutenberg explores the question in the New York Times, noting that Breitbart News is a potential alternative for those looking to jump ship.
- Quartz suggests that a pending $15 billion takeover of Sky News by the Murdoch family, which controls 21st Century Fox, may have played a role in the decision to fire O'Reilly. British regulators must sign off on the deal, and the move clears away a potential ethical roadblock.
- Tucker Carlson, 47, co-founder of the conservative Daily Caller, is taking over O'Reilly's 8pm time slot following his successful replacement of Megyn Kelly in the 9pm hour, notes the Wall Street Journal. The New Yorker takes a look, with Kelefa Sanneh writing that "there are few forces on television more powerful than Tucker Carlson's skepticism."
- This is the New York Times investigation from April 1 that led to O'Reilly's departure, detailing his multiple settlements in sexual harassment cases. It led to an exodus of major advertisers.
- Stephen Colbert bid farewell to the man he modeled his cable persona upon.
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