O’Reilly Flap Fuels Ratings


Controversy is usually good for business -- just ask Bill O'Reilly. The embattled Fox News Channel star has been recording sky-high ratings since Oct. 14, when former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris filed a $60 million sexual harassment suit against the network and its star.

Hours earlier, O’Reilly filed a preemptive suit. But loyal O’Reilly viewers aren't being repelled by the mudslinging. Since the news of the charges, suits and counter-suits broke, The O’Reilly Factor is averaging 3.04 million viewers, up 27% from the third quarter.

The high point came Oct. 18, when 3.35 million viewers tuned in. Fox typically draws between 1.5 million and 2 million viewers in prime.