O’Reilly just lost his lucrative job as host of The O’Reilly Factor, in the wake of a New York Times report that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations and the millions of dollars paid in settlements by O’Reilly and his former employer Fox News. But O’Reilly’s television work has only been one element of his media empire. In the past five years, he has become the bestselling nonfiction writer in the country.
His books, which are published by the Macmillan imprint Henry Holt, routinely sell over a million copies, a remarkable number in book publishing. O’Reilly’s sales put him in a vaunted category that includes only a handful of authors, like Stephen King and Tom Clancy. His Killing series—Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, Killing Reagan, and Killing The Rising Sun—has been a bonanza for both O’Reilly and for Macmillan.
Asked for comment about O’Reilly’s future at Henry Holt following his dismisal from Fox News, a Henry Holt spokesman said, “Our plans have not changed.” Henry Holt published Old School: Life In The Sane Lane three weeks ago and will publish at least three other books under O’Reilly’s name in 2017.
However, book publishing is not immune to the political debates that have been raging since Donald Trump’s election. Simon & Schuster faced boycott threats and weeks of negative publicity after its conservative imprint Threshold Editions signed Milo Yiannopolous to a $250,000 book deal. That deal was canceled after comments circulated of Yiannopolous seemingly endorsing pedophilia.
Macmillan is not yet facing a similar level of pressure or scrutiny. It will not want to see O’Reilly go: It has a long and remarkably lucrative history with O’Reilly, and his books are essential to Macmillan’s bottom line.