“We no longer represent Bill O’Reilly for future deals,” WME said today in a statement. “It is our fiduciary responsibility to service the existing deals we have under contract, but we will not be working with him moving forward.”
WME has represented O’Reilly since 2009. O’Reilly, with Martin Dugard, is co-author of the very popular Killing book series.
Their latest effort, Killing England, is No. 2 on New York Times‘ non-fiction list, and has been on that list five weeks running. The books are published by Henry Holt; that has not changed.
WME did not dump O’Reilly last spring when Fox News parent 21st Century Fox pink-slipped him in the wake of a New York Times report about the various settlements he and his former employer paid out to women who had logged harassment allegations against Fox News Channel’s primetime star.
But last week, NYT updated its reporting, writing that O’Reilly personally had settled a $32M sex harassment claim against him by former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl. When 21st Century Fox inked a new four-year, $100 million contract extension with the cable news star, it had been aware of the settlement, NYT reported.
This week, James Murdcoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, insisted the dollar amount of that harassment settlement paid by O’Reilly was “news to me.” Which, former Fox News star Megyn Kelly noted Wednesday night on Seth Meyers’ late night show, begs the question “Why?”
WME’s news follows word this week that United Talent Agency had dropped O’Reilly. NBC has reported the former The O’Reilly Factor host has been talking to Sinclair Broadcasting about doing a syndicated program for its TV stations; Sinclair currently owns or operates 173 stations and, in May, struck a deal for Tribune Media, which would up that tally to 220 stations.