Republican front-runner Donald Trump appears to have hit Fox News where it really hurts – advertising revenue – with his decision to boycott the network’s presidential debate. During an appearance on the O’Reilly Factor, the Donald refused to cave inand reconsider despite some rather uncharacteristic and unbecoming groveling by the network’s superstar host. While the GOP establishment and the desperate scalp hunters looking to ambush Trump right before Iowans start to vote looked to be the initial losers as he side-stepped their trap it is the network itself that stands to take the big financial hit.

Politico reports that “Fox’s O’Reilly pleads with Trump to reconsider debate boycott”:

Donald Trump on Wednesday night testily tangled with Bill O’Reilly as the Fox News host asked Trump to reconsider his decision to boycott the Thursday night GOP debate. The real estate mogul and Republican poll leader refused to budge.

“I want you to consider,” O’Reilly pleaded with Trump, asking him to say, “I might come back, forgive, go forward, answer the question, look out for the folks, just consider it.”

Trump shot back that the question was out of bounds. “We had an agreement that you wouldn’t ask me that,” he said.

O’Reilly conceded that Trump was telling the truth, and gave him credit for coming on his show, but said the American people need to hear from the man who has a good chance of becoming the Republican nominee.

“You could absolutely secure this Republican nomination,” the Fox News host said. “I submit to you that you need to change and get away from the personal.”

But O’Reilly peppered his words of encouragement with insults, accusing Trump of “walking away” and getting sidetracked by petty disputes.

“I don’t like being taken advantage of,” Trump said, referencing his grievance with Fox’s refusal to remove Megyn Kelly as a moderator from the debate, after Trump accused her of being biased against him. “I’m not going to let our country be taken advantage of,” Trump added, citing the Iran deal as a prime example.

The prospect of watching Jeb! and Ted’s big adventure along with a sleep inducing chorus of talking point spewing RINO phonies doesn’t exactly make for compelling television and trotting out Megyn Kelly to shake her booty only goes so far.

Trump has already announced an event that will run in the same time slot as Fox’s suddenly starless gabfest.