Despite the recent ouster of cable news megastar Bill O’Reilly, Fox News is still doing remarkably well according to the network’s head.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, congratulated Fox News staff Tuesday for excellent ratings following O’Reilly’s departure.
“Last night’s ratings are in and I couldn’t be more proud to announce that, not only did FOX News beat all other cable news competition with our new primetime debut, but we also increased our ratings 31% in total viewers and 54% in the demo compared to last year,” Murdoch said in a memo obtained by Business Insider.
“This was a stellar performance that couldn’t have happened without the amazing effort and dedication from everyone on the team over the last week,” he added.
Tucker Carlson replaced O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot Monday and beat out all other U.S. cable news programs.
Carlson’s debut at the new time drew just under 3.2 million viewers, beating out the 8 p.m. viewership of CNN and MSNBC combined.
Reflecting on the loss of O’Reilly, Murdoch wrote in his memo: “I know the last few weeks have been tough for everyone here, but our passion for news and commitment to our viewers continue to lead us through. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work.”
When news of O’Reilly leaving Fox broke, some on social media celebrated his departure.
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– Bill O’Reilly
– Nunes dethroned
I cannot get enough of this winning!!! #BillOReilly
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) April 20, 2017
Others lamented O’Reilly’s termination, viewing it as a concerted effort by the Left to target and take down outspoken conservatives.
— Jack (@Harleyrick1) April 20, 2017
O’Reilly, back on the air Monday on his new podcast No Spin News, vowed the truth behind his ouster at Fox will come out eventually.
O’Reilly’s back! Check out Bill’s first No Spin News since leaving FNC – https://t.co/hiv184nXgU
— Bill O’Reilly (@billoreilly) April 24, 2017
“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” he said. “I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot because there’s much stuff going on right now, but I can tell you that I am very confident the truth will come out and when it does I don’t know if you are going to be surprised, but I think you are going to be shaken as I am.”