Bill O’Reilly’s forced exit from Fox News is netting him a payout of up to $25 million, two sources with knowledge confirmed to NBC News.
The former Fox News anchor inked a new four-year contract last month guaranteeing he make that much annually, according to a person with knowledge of that deal. The contract did allow Fox to fire him in general if controversy was harming the network, the person added. His severance has not been disclosed publicly, but was part of the agreement for him parting ways with parent company 21st Century Fox, New York magazine journalist Gabe Sherman earlier told TODAY.
His payout would appear to be smaller than that given to former Fox News honcho Roger Ailes, who resigned last summer after facing his own spate of sexual harassment complaints made by female staffers. Ailes — who became the channel’s founding CEO in 1996, the same year O’Reilly joined — reportedly received $40 million as part of his separation agreement. Ailes has also denied wrongdoing. While O’Reilly was a star of the network, bringing in about 3.9 million viewers a night in recent months, Sherman said the accusations became too much — and even 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch could no longer justify keeping him on.