Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

O"Reilly out at Fox News; internal memo released"


Before and after the accusations, O'Reilly remained one of the most popular commentators on cable news.

Fox News has made a decision to part ways with star host Bill O'Reilly following allegations of sexual harassment, NY magazine reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources briefed on the discussions.

On Wednesday, the Murdoch family finally made it official Bill O'Reilly was out after a slew of sexual harassment allegations against the long-time media star.

Following the New York Times' report on April 1 that five women received settlements after accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, Fox covered it only once: a brief mention on Kurtz's weekly media criticism program the day after the story was published. The agreements totaled about $13 million. And why did all the advertiser that pulled off his show now, stick with his show this long?

The announcement comes at hard time for Fox News, whose former chairman Roger Ailes resigned past year after a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Quartz breaks down what it calls 35 million reasons for firing O'Reilly: an ad boycott from at least 80 companies that spent an estimated $35 million advertising on his show previous year.

The crisis for Fox News has escalated in recent days because the law firm Paul Weiss is investigating the claim that O'Reilly reneged on offering a paid contributor's job to Wendy Walsh, a frequent guest on his program, after she spurned his advances at a dinner meeting in 2013.

Fox News addressed O'Reilly's departure on Wednesday night, as the show that used to bear his name debuted as simply The Factor. He was the top-rated host in cable news, delivering defiant commentary every weeknight with a message that celebrated patriotism and expressed scorn for political correctness. The O'Reilly-free future for Fox News will be a unprecedented test of its ability to dominate the cable landscape without its leading man, as reported in The Altantic.

That will be Tucker Carlson, whose show is moving to the 8 p.m. slot on Fox.

"The Five" will be replaced at 5 p.m. EDT by a one-hour program hosted by Eric Bolling, to debut May 1.

The decision, coming after advertisers had begun to flee his show, ends a more than 20-year career at Fox News for O'Reilly, a best-selling author as well as one of the most popular commentators on US television.

"But that is the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today". The channel's majority owner is Fox News Channel parent company 21st Century Fox. In fact, his success, by any measure is indisputable.

The Murdochs added, "Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect". For Fox executives, it wasn't clear when it would end: a campaign to target advertisers was continuing, a group of women demonstrated in front of Fox's headquarters Tuesday and another woman, a former clerical worker at Fox, called a harassment hotline and accusing the host of boorish behavior. Trump said this month that he didn't think his friend, O'Reilly, did anything wrong.

"I thought he was a good contributor", he said.

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