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O'Reilly out over harassment allegations

20 April, 2017, 10:45 | Author: Mae Harvey

The announcement, Kurtz told viewers, came in a "terse statement" earlier in the afternoon from Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, the owners of Fox News's parent company, 21st Century Fox.

Then came an April 1 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly. The Times found the company and O'Reilly had reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. Dozens of his show's advertisers have fled following a report that five women were paid $13 million in settlements after they alleged harassment or mistreatment.

The "Factor" was the hub of O'Reilly's business, but he has many other spokes, including a line of best-selling books and stage shows at theaters. O'Reilly's ouster comes nine months after the forced resignation of former chairman Roger Ailes, who several women accused of sexual harassment allegations that he denied.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal.

During his decades of dominance - "The O'Reilly Factor" held the No. 1 spot on cable news ratings for 60 consecutive quarters through March 2015 - the Fox News stalwart was a volatile and controversial figure, who viewers loved and/or loved to hate.

"Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America", Marc Kasowitz said in a statement. 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.

This is not, however, the first time Carlson's slot has changed. Its leading female star, Megyn Kelly, decamped for NBC in January.

"Getting rid of the old guard is a way to do that", said Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the author of "Fox News & American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics & Society".

Fox News addressed the departure of Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night, as the show that used to bear his name debuted as simply "The Factor". "In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable". It also said the decision "follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel".

The memo closed by saying the Murdochs wanted to "underscore" their "consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect".

As the Times put it, "Armed with the recordings, her lawyers went to the company ..."

O'Reilly's public statement on Wednesday gave no indication about what he might do next. Before the segment, the two discussed a bet they had made for dinner. Stewart never failed to roast O'Reilly for his perceived failings during his years spent hosting "The Daily Show".

O'Reilly said it was "tremendously disheartening" to leave over "completely unfounded claims".

"I think President Trump needs to learn that he doesn't have to comment on everything", Navarro said. 21st Century Fox said after Walsh had called the hotline that it was opening an investigation into O'Reilly's conduct.

Both Fox and O'Reilly confirmed O'Reilly's departure from the network earlier Wednesday.

Ruddy cautioned that if he talked to O'Reilly about a job, he'd need to review the allegations because they are serious.

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