It’s been quite a while since you could count on seeing Bill O’Reilly in the anchor chair of The O’Reilly Factor on Fridays. Today, Politico reported that the Friday night show is now a spinoff called “Friday Factor” and will feature rotating hosts.
O'Reilly has long been absent on many Fridays. Politico reports that O’Reilly has hosted his show only twice in the last five months. But it appears that Fox’s decision to officially make Friday night a spinoff is relatively recent:
[A] person familiar with the matter said a new Friday-night spinoff of O’Reilly’s show called “Friday Factor” had been planned but not yet announced, with a rotating group of hosts filling his Friday slot.
A Fox spokesperson said that “Friday Factor” has actually been in place for the past few weeks in the television listings. But viewers tuning in for the past three months of Friday nights wouldn’t see any sign of the new name or show. The opening introduction and logo are the same as when O’Reilly hosts, and the guest hosts all say they are sitting in for Bill O’Reilly, or that he’s out on assignment.
The Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to follow up questions about whether there will be further changes to the Friday evening broadcast to distinguish it from “The O’Reilly Factor.”
So the decision to spin off Friday night shows was made a few weeks ago. It was clear from The New York Times bombshell about harassment claims against him that O'Reilly knew in advance of what was to come because he hired a crisis communications expert "just over a week" before the April 1 article. So if the Factor Friday spinoff was not in response to the scandal that has caused the show to bleed advertisers, the timing is awfully coincidental.
NewsHound Richard found that his FIOS guide has already renamed this Friday night’s show.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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