By Wednesday afternoon, at least 48 companies said that they had pulled advertisements from the primetime program. Among the most prominent were Advil, Mercedes, BMW and Jenny Craig.
The firms are withdrawing advertisements following a New York Times investigation published on Saturday that ignited the controversy.
While more than a dozen companies had deserted their advertising bookings in time for Tuesday night’s broadcast, the show was not at a loss during ad breaks — around 30 advertisements ran.
Industry sources believe the top-rated program could have between 100 and 200 advertisers with big ad budgets who book six to 12 months in advance.
“The O’Reilly Factor,” now in its 20th year on the air, brings in more revenue than any other program on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC, according to market research firm Kantar Media.