Before he cut to his first commercial break of the night on Thursday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly teased a series of segments that would come, he said, "after these messages." But after only a one minute-long ad, O'Reilly was back on the screen.
The lone commercial to air during that break -- from the life insurance company Coventry Direct -- was one of only seven spots to run during Thursday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," providing tangible evidence that a widening advertising boycott against the top-rated program has taken effect.
Nearly 60 companies have dropped ads on the "Factor." This follows a New York Times report last week revealing that O'Reilly and his employer had reached settlements totaling $13 million with five different women who accused the host of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Major brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Allstate, Advil and Lexus have all withdrawn from the show -- leaving the program's commercial breaks stacked entirely with spots from obscure, less glamorous companies.
The Hollywood Reporter also notes:
The O'Reilly Factor lost its No. 1 status in the demo for the night — which featured his third original telecast since The New York Times broke the news that he and Fox News Channel have settled multiple sexual harassment claims levied against the top-rated host — to MSNBC's resurgent The Rachel Maddow Show. Maddow, fresh off of key wins in March, outperformed O'Reilly by 8 percent on Wednesday night. She averaged 607,000 adults 25-54 to his 561,000.