Bill O’Reilly is an American political commentator, journalist, television host, syndicated columnist and bestselling author. He is best known for his eponymous Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor”. His role at Fox earned him a peak salary of $20 million. O’Reilly was ousted from Fox in 2017 following a series of sexual harassment scandal. Here is all you need to know about Bill O’Reilly’s $85 million assets.
Bill O’Reilly was born William James O’Reilly, Jr on September 10, 1949, in New York, City. When he was 2 years old, his family relocated to Mineola, New York, a Long Island village. He graduated from Chaminade High School, a private Catholic boys high school in 1967.
Billy then enrolled at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York where he majored in history. He spent his junior year abroad in the UK where he attended Queen Mary College at the University of London. He graduated from Marist College with honors in 1971.
While in college, O’Reilly was a writer for the school newspaper and was also active in sports playing on the varsity baseball team.
He moved to Miami after graduation and took up a job as a high school English and History teacher for two years (1970-1972). Bill then returned to school and earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University where he also met the now renowned radio pundit Howard Stern.
Several years after achieving a successful career in journalism, O’Reilly returned to school yet again, this time the prestigious Harvard where he earned a masters degree in public administration in 1996.
O’Reilly started out by working for several local news stations, beginning at WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He then proceeded to work for similar stations in Dallas, Denver, Portland, Oregon, Hatford, Connecticut, and Boston. During these periods, he earned many awards for his reporting, including his very first of many Emmys in Denver.
O’Reilly returned to New York in 1982 where he worked as a news anchor at WCBS-TV. Two years of outstanding reporting was enough to get him promoted to CBS where he worked as a news correspondent. After a controversy between him and CBS on an uncredited report, O’Reilly left CBS.
At the funeral of his friend, ABC news anchor Joe Spencer who died en route a report, O’Reilly’s eulogy rendition impressed ABC News president Roger Ailes who hired him as a news correspondent in 1986. O’Reilly’s outstanding report with ABC News was rewarded with two Emmys and other coveted awards. He left in 1989 after three years.
Bill O’Reilly’s Career And Salary
O’Reilly’s big break came right after he left ABC News in 1989 and joined King World syndicated infotainment “Inside Edition.” After a 5-year stint, he left for Harvard. 1996, the year O’Reilly graduated from Harvard was the same year Fox News was established.
In search of competent reporters, Fox News immediately hired O’Reilly who began anchoring his own political talk show, “The O’Reilly Report” later renamed “The O’Reilly Factor.” The show soon garnered many viewers and fast forward to 2001, became the highest-rated cable news program in the country with an average of 3 million weekly viewers.
After 21 years on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly was ousted in 2017 following a series of sexual harassment scandals. Throughout the show’s run, it generated a whopping $500 million in revenue for Fox. O’Reilly’s annual salary reached the peak of $20 million.
Since O’Reilly gained national recognition, his career, as well as his personal life, has been awash with controversies. As a matter of fact, his Fox News eponymous talk show is focused on discussing controversial topics as they unfold. Nevertheless, O’Reilly was able to make it one of the most successful news programs in America.
O’Reilly has been accused of sexual harassment more than once. The first occurred in 2004 when Andrea Mackris an associate producer on his show filled a sexual harassment lawsuit against him demanding $60 million in damages. The duo later settled out of court with O’Reilly allegedly paying her somewhere between $2 million and $10 million.
Right after Fox News chairman Roger Ailes was fired in August 2016 for sexual harassment, fresh accusations against O’Reilly surfaced. An article published by the New York Times revealed that O’Reilly and 21 Century Fox, Fox News parent company, had paid millions of dollars to settle multiple sexual harassment cases against O’Reilly. The payment was allegedly in exchange for silence from the women. The total amount reached $13 million paid to 5 different women.
This culminated in an advert boycott of about 50 companies including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, GlaxoSmithKline, Constant Contact, Hyundai, Allstate and T.Rowe Price. However, despite the boycott, The O’Reilly Factor enjoyed a 20% viewership hike. After weeks of speculations on how 21 Century Fox would handle the case, they released a statement on April 19, 2017, announcing that O’Reilly won’t be returning to the network.
Bill O’Reilly’s Wife, Divorce and Children
O’Reilly’s issues extend beyond the workplace down to his home. In 2010, he divorced Maureen McPhilmy his wife of 14 years with whom he had two children, Madeline and Spencer. Their initial settlement in 2011 ensued a contentious custody battle where McPhilmy accused O’Reilly of domestic violence. She won the custody battle, but O’Reilly was not done. In retaliation, he filed a $10 million lawsuit against her claiming that while they were married, she used his money to finance her relationship with Jeffrey Gross, a Nassau County Police Department detective who she married after her divorce with O’Reilly.
Bill O’Reilly’s Publications: Killing Book Series And Others
In addition to being a very successful pundit, O’Reilly makes money from other media ventures. He capitalized on his Fox popularity and established a radio talk-show “The Factor” which enjoyed tremendous success for 7 years from 2002 to 2009.
He also began writing a weekly syndicated newspaper column which appeared in the New York Post and the Chicago Sun-Times. It was discontinued in 2013.
O’Reilly is also a prolific and bestselling author who has churned out over 20 books. He is particularly known for his Killing book series which have sparked controversies among critics. They include Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Reagan. Some of his books have been adapted by the National Geographic channel into documented TV movies.
In 2012, Forbes reported that O’Reilly made over $24 million from book sales and $28 million in 2014. Apparently, on the average, he makes over $25 million annually from book sales.
While his Fox career may be over, O’Reilly is far from retirement with a host of other opportunities awaiting him.
Bill O’Reilly is an active philanthropist with a particular focus on veteran-related charities.