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It's official Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News. !!!
Bill O’Reilly Is Out At Fox News
The decision followed a massive advertiser boycott after allegations of sexual harassment.
Bill O’Reilly will no longer be employed at Fox News, the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox said in a statement Wednesday. The decision comes after allegations of him sexually harassing female colleagues prompted protests outside network headquarters and a mass exodus from advertisers.
“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 New Channel,” the statement read.
O’Reilly had said mid-April that he was taking a vacation. The official departure from Fox is an unceremonious end for the host, who had anchored the top-rated cable news show “The O’Reilly Factor” since its inception more than 20 years ago. His stunning exit mirrors that of former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who launched Fox News in 1996 and abruptly left the network last summer amid widespread sexual harassment allegations.
Following a bombshell New York Times report earlier this month indicating O’Reilly and Fox News have paid around $13 million in settlements to address complaints brought by five of his former female colleagues, advertisers began fleeing the show. Within days, more than 50 companies announced they would no longer air spots during the show.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson will take over O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot, according to several reports.
New York magazine reported that Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, had advocated for keeping O’Reilly on board, while sons James and Lachlan had pushed for his departure.
Though 21st Century Fox had pledged to clean up Fox News following the Ailes scandal, the Times revealed that the company continued to privately settle lawsuits with O’Reilly accusers and even renewed the host’s contract, reportedly at more than $20 million a year.
The entertainment and media giant presumably stuck with O’Reilly because he has been a cash cow for Fox News. He’s the linchpin of the network’s primetime lineup and his top-rated show is major draw when it comes to negotiating fees to carry the channel with cable and satellite providers. And “The O’Reilly Factor” brought in around $111 million in advertising dollars over a three-period.
But advertisers quickly began to feel the pressure from consumers following the Times report and allegations from a sixth woman, Wendy Walsh, who held a press conference two days after the story was published online.
Mercedes-Benz was the first to announce its departure from the show’s ad schedule. “The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” spokeswoman Donna Boland said.
In initial responses to the Times’ report that O’Reilly inappropriately propositioned women and retaliated against them when they turned him down, both he and the network issued statements saying no accusers ever called Fox’s internal hotline, an 800 number employees can use to anonymously report concerns.
Following the Times’ report, 21st Century Fox announced Sunday that law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison conduct an investigation into the claims of Walsh, a former guest on O’Reilly’s show who accused him reneging on a promise to get her a contributor deal after she rebuffed his advances.
On Tuesday, civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom said that an African-American former clerical worker at Fox News, who remains anonymous, had claimed O’Reilly leered at her and called her “hot chocolate.”