Media Matters President Angelo Carusone released the following statement after Sean Hannity announced that Bill O’Reilly would appear as a guest on Fox News’ Hannity:
This emerging collaboration between Hannity and O’Reilly should be the end of Hannity’s Fox News program.
Much like he did with his recent appearance on Hannity’s radio show, O’Reilly will use this opportunity to smear and attack the women that spoke out against him. No advertiser who explicitly rejected associating with O’Reilly’s serial sexual predatory conduct should or will tolerate associating with and supporting him now. As a result, more advertisers will leave Hannity’s show.
Carusone also observed the ramifications for Fox News and the insight this shows about Hannity’s future:
Fox News is treading on risky terrain here too. The network is already in a heap of trouble due to its pervasive culture of sexual harassment and abuse. It was the enabling of O’Reilly and others that forced advertisers to get involved back in April.
The fact that Fox executives are tolerating this budding collaboration between Hannity and O’Reilly underscores how little they have actually done to address their culture of sexual harassment as well as the collision course the network is on with Sean Hannity.
I expect that some advertisers will leave Fox News entirely over this. There was already concern among media buyers about Hannity's volatility and Fox's ability to control him. Hannity knows all this. He wants this fight with Fox News. This is his exit strategy -- his fight with Fox -- and he sees it as an opportunity to cleave away his audience.
Here is a list of advertisers who dropped from Bill O’Reilly’s show in April who are currently advertising on Hannity. Media Matters was a key organizer in the Stop O’Reilly advertiser education effort.
In August, Media Matters launched a Stop Hannity advertiser education effort. Hannity isn’t just a partisan talking head with a television show he conspires with the Trump administration to spread fabricated stories, smear detractors, and undercut the rule of law. Since launching the “Stop Hannity” effort, more than a dozen advertisers have abandoned his show.