Aw, when the big boss sends out a pep-talk memo only days after History’s Greatest Report Bill-O has slunk out the back door for his family vacay (family not included), and just a couple of days after Bill-O’s advertisers fled the scene of the crime (as it were, but they still don’t want the stench on their brands, except for the Pocket Catheter) upon learning that Bill-O is a serial sexual harasser, well, you know sumpin’ is up.
As we enter this new spring season, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish those celebrating, a wonderful Passover and Easter holiday. The first few months of this year have already given us much to be thankful for. FOX News just delivered its highest-rated quarter ever and remains number one in cable in both prime time and total day, while FOX Business has surpassed CNBC as the number one business channel on television. I am tremendously proud of our entire team and truly grateful for the hard work everyone has contributed to ensure our continued future success.
Notice what’s missing? Bill-O, that’s what! The elephant in the room isn’t in the room! The Elephant Has Left The Building!
For some insightful analysis, we turn our jaundiced eye to Media Matters’ President Angelo Carusone:
Rupert Murdoch’s memo to Fox News staff should cause 21st Century Fox’s CEO, James Murdoch, and its shareholders to panic. It will intensify the anxiety that advertisers are feeling at the moment and puts more pressure on them to act. Advertisers’ decision to reject Bill O’Reilly’s program was as much about the newly public reports of serial sexual harassment as it was worry that more reports will come.
With good reason too. Roger Ailes left the network after more than two dozen reports of sexual harassment came to light. And, Fox News’ current co-presidents are linked to attempts to cover up or retaliate against women who had reported either Roger Ailes or Bill O’Reilly.
It’s clear that there’s an unresolved epidemic of sexual harassment at Fox News and advertisers know that associating with that is bad for business. The blitheness of Murdoch’s memo will not only undermine staff morale, but it just signaled to advertisers that Murdoch is committed to maintaining Fox News’ culture of harassment. Advertisers are now on notice that the only way to avoid the association and support of serial sexual harassment is to further distance themselves from Fox.