Fox News is reportedly paying released longtime host Bill O’Reilly tens of millions of dollars, several close sources told CNN Money on Thursday.
“It is a staggering amount,” one source claimed, according to CNN. Another source gave the specific amount of the alleged payout: an astounding $25 million dollars.
Neither 21st Century Fox nor O’Reilly’s representatives have publicly confirmed a payout, but O’Reilly just signed a new contract in March, which reportedly averaged about $25 million a year. Though the terms of the contract have not been disclosed publicly, according to the sources the multi-year contract extended until at least the end of 2020.
The sources said that Fox News included specific contract language in the recent contract that gave them several “outs,” but requires them to pay at least one year’s salary, which is where the $25 million figure came from.
O’Reilly was released from Fox News after intense pressure was placed on his advertisers in the wake of sexual harassment claims. Documents obtained by TheBlaze on Wednesday suggested that liberal watchdog group Media Matters orchestrated a behind-the-scenes campaign to convince advertisers to drop their ad time during “The O’Reilly Factor” program.
According to Media Matters, over 80 different advertisers removed their advertising from O’Reilly’s show and re-dispersing them into different time slots.
“The O’Reilly Factor” was the highest-rated show on cable news, averaging 4 million viewers per night.