Bill O’Reilly, age 67, host of the top-rated cable news show The O’Reilly Factor has been fired from his position as a prime-time host on Fox News, 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,” 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, said in a statement.
Bill O’Reilly’s departure has been announced while he is on vacation in Italy, and two and a half weeks after an investigation by The New York Times revealed how Fox News and 21st Century Fox repeatedly supported O’Reilly while sexual harassment allegations increased.
The New York Times discovered that 21st Century Fox and Mr. O’Reilly reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
Over 50 advertisers had abandoned The O’Reilly Factor, and women’s rights groups called for O’Reilly’s ouster. Internally women expressed outrage, and questioned whether top executives at Fox were serious about stopping sexual harassment and maintaining a culture based on “trust and respect,” as Fox had promised last summer when a sexual harassment claim by Gretchen Carlson erupted and forced the ouster of Fox News Chairman, Roger Ailes.
Following the dismissal of Roger Ailes, Fox agreed to two settlements involving sexual harassment complaints against Bill O’Reilly and also extended his contract, even as the network was aware of the complaints about his behavior.
Last week, the Murdochs enlisted the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to conduct an investigation into Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior after one woman, who had detailed her allegations against Bill O’Reilly to The Times, called the hotline at Fox News to report her complaints. Another complaint was reported on Tuesday, according to the lawyer who represents the woman making the allegations.
Bill O’Reilly has denied the allegations against him, and said on air that he never had a complaint filed against him in his history at Fox.
Bill O’Reilly has been an anchor at Fox News since 1996. O’Reilly, often criticizing The New York Times, and CNN’s and MSNBC’s ratings was the top-rated host in cable news. O’Reilly’s departure marks an end to his two decades working as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.
Rising Fox News star Tucker Carlson will move up to O’Reilly’s slot at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT on Monday, April 24, 2017 with his relatively new show Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The Five is moving from the 5PM ET/4PM CT slot to Tucker Carlson’s former slot at 9PM ET/8PM CT.
Eric Bolling will debut with a new show in The Five’s old slot at 5PM ET / 4PM CT. Meanwhile, Bret Baier’s Special Report will expand to two hours for the week of April 24-28.
The Story with Martha MacCallum will dwput on Monday May 1, 2017.
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— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 19, 2017
"Fox News will survive without Bill O'Reilly, thanks to Bill O'Reilly" https://t.co/s2k32MBTD7
— TIME (@TIME) April 19, 2017
— CNN International (@cnni) April 19, 2017
Bill O'Reilly has been fired from Fox.And on behalf of the Black community, I present Bill with a James Brown wig as a parting gift ✊? pic.twitter.com/XfkewhQKkN
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) April 19, 2017
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 19, 2017