“It is a staggering amount,” said a source personally involved in the exit maneuverings.
21st Century Fox and O’Reilly’s representatives will not acknowledge the existence of a payout. A confidentiality agreement limits what the two sides can say.
But two well-placed sources confirmed to CNNMoney that O’Reilly does have a parachute. That’s because O’Reilly signed a new contract right before being ousted.
The two sources, who spoke independently of one another, said the new contract was worth about $25 million per year.
(Previous news reports have pegged O’Reilly’s past contract at $18 to $20 million a year.)
O’Reilly commanded a higher sum for obvious reasons: he dominated the ratings and helped Fox News deliver record profits for its parent company.
The two sources also said the contract extended through the next presidential election, meaning it was set to expire either at the end of 2020 or sometime in 2021.
However, O’Reilly will not be paid the entire amount he was owed, one of the sources said.
Fox incorporated language in the new contract that gave the network some “outs.”
Roger Ailes, on the other hand, was paid the entire remainder of his contract when he resigned under pressure last summer. Ailes, the founding CEO of Fox News, was accused of harassment by Fox employees.
Ailes was paid more than $40 million on the way out. He recently bought a $36 million oceanfront home in Florida.
As for O’Reilly, the sources declined to say exactly how much money he will receive. But regulatory filings may drop some hints in the coming months.
The Washington Post reported that the new deal was signed in March — just weeks before The New York Times’ investigation into O’Reilly was published on April 1.