Bill O’Reilly has been a mainstay of the Henry Holt list for years and, at the moment, that is not changing. The Macmillan imprint told PW that it has no intention of altering its support of the bestselling author, despite his dismissal from Fox News.
O'Reilly saw a raft of advertisers flee his popular TV show, The O'Reilly Factor, after news broke that he had settled a series of sexual harassment cases. A statement from Fox parent company, 21st Century Fox, said: “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” Fox had been investigating the sexual harassment claims involving O’Reilly.
The settlements first surfaced in a lengthy New York Times article published April 1. The story did not seem to hurt sales of O'Reilly's most recent book. Old School: Life in the Sane Lane, written with Bruce Feirstein, sold over 67,000 copies in its first week on sale, according to NPD BookScan. The book has sold nearly 109,000 print copies since its March 28 release.
O’Reilly’s Killing series, written with Martin Dugard, has been a consistent bestseller for Holt; it has roughly 15.5 million copies in print worldwide. The most recent Killing title, Killing the Rising Sun, was the top-selling adult nonfiction book in 2016, selling over 1 million print units.
Holt also has an untitled O’Reilly/Dugard book scheduled for release in September. When asked about that title, a Holt spokesperson said: “Our plans have not changed.”
The question now facing Holt is whether it will face some sort of backlash for supporting O'Reilly. Simon & Schuster endured widespread criticism after it signed alt-right star Milo Yiannopoulus to a $250,000 book deal. S&S wound up canceling the title after a video interview emerged of Yiannopoulus appearing to condone pedophilia.