Fox News fires Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment accusations

Fox News fires Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment accusations

Fox News on Wednesday announced a new primetime lineup amid the ouster of the embattled host Bill O'Reilly after multiple accusations of sexual harassment surfaced.

Parent company 21st Century Fox said on Wednesday: "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 News Channel".

"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims", O'Reilly said.

Dozens of advertisers ditched "The O'Reilly Factor" after a New York Times report detailed $13 million in payouts to five women over his alleged abusive behavior; more allegations subsequently emerged.

In the statement at the time O'Reilly said that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy.

According to Forbes , The O'Reilly Factor brought in roughly $110.8 million in advertising revenue previous year, and from 2014 to 2016, the show generated $446 million in ad revenue.

O'Reilly - the network's signature talent who used his cable news fame to become a best-selling author, live tour attraction and TV producer - has been off the air since April 12.

The decision to turn O'Reilly loose appears to have been made between Tuesday and Wednesday by the Murdochs, the family who control the operations of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox. "You can't underestimate the influence and the profits that he brought into Fox News for all these years and that's why they hesitated so long in doing the right thing".

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Anchor Dana Perino, filling in for O'Reilly during the 8 p.m. hour temporarily branded "The Factor", called it "the end of an era" and praised O'Reilly as "the undisputed king of cable news".

O'Reilly's exit, which was first reported by NY magazine, follows that of former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign in July after being accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women, including former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Ailes has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Twenty-First Century Fox has tapped the law firm Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which also looked into the allegations against Ailes, to investigate O'Reilly's conduct. Apart from Kelly and O'Reilly, he also replaced Greta van Susteren whose departure from the news network was reportedly less than pleasant.

Investors seemed to take the news in stride.

21st Century Fox stock dropped following the announcement of O'Reilly's departure from Fox News, closing at $30.39 a share, down 0.88 percent for the day. Bustle has reached out to Fox News for comment.

Beck noted that with Roger Ailes gone from the company - Ailes quit last July amid sexual harassment allegations of his own - Rupert Murdoch wouldn't be able to stop his sons, Lachlan and James, from gutting the channel. "That's not going to bode well", Beck said. The company is making "a pretty big statement" to that effect by dropping O'Reilly, said Hall, the American University professor.

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