Fox News ends relationship with Bill O'Reilly

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

Fox News Channel's parent company fired Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news' most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years.

The network said host Tucker Carlson will take over O'Reilly's primetime slot.

O'Reilly said in a statement Wednesday it's "tremendously disheartening" to leave Fox "due to completely unfounded claims".

O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence.

The National Geographic channel has aired a series of adaptations of O'Reilly books, including "Killing Reagan" and "Killing Kennedy".

Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel".

Fox News is no longer answering questions about whether O'Reilly will return to his show. Dozens of advertisers pulled out of "The O'Reilly Factor". But most of O'Reilly's advertisers abandoned the show in the wake of the Times' story.

More than 50 advertisers withdrew from his prime-time show, and 21 Century Fox asked a law firm to investigate a complaint from a woman who said O'Reilly dropped efforts to make her a contributor in 2013 after she turned down his invitation to visit his hotel room. "We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program and we have suspended our advertising", Allstate said in a statement.

O'Reilly's departure follows that of former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, right.

In the wake of the Times' report and amid growing anger expressed online, almost a dozen advertisers pulled their commercials from the show, including luxury auto brand BMW and insurance company Allstate.

O'Reilly is the third evening host to leave Fox News in the past year, following the departures of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren.

NY magazine's Gabriel Sherman, the author of a biography about ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes, reported Tuesday that "the Murdochs are leaning toward announcing that O'Reilly will not return to the air".

"The O'Reilly Factor" has been canceled amid a cloud of harassment allegations against the conservative broadcaster.

So far, Fox News has marched on - seemingly as strong as ever - without Ailes, Van Susteren and Kelly. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than one per cent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

However, Sherman's sources claim that Murdoch's sons, James and Lachlan, have argued that O'Reilly should be let go, but their father Rupert Murdoch opposes the idea.

"Men generally run news divisions-not that they're all engaging in inappropriate behavior", he said, "but it may be time for a change in the composition of management". "That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

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