O'Reilly leaves Fox News amid harassment claims

Alvin Kelly
April 20, 2017

NY magazine reported Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit. She quit the job - and the business - due to her treatment by O'Reilly, he said.

"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 released in a statement.

It is unclear if Fox News is paying O'Reilly.

Bill O'Reilly's 21-year career at Fox News has come to a sudden and ignoble end. Fox News-and society in general-still has a long way to go when it comes to ensuring women's protection and security in the workplace and beyond.

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, File).

NEW YORK (AP) - With its biggest star departing in another blowup over sexual harassment, Fox News faces some big challenges.

Perino said at the top of the show that, "We know you, his loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about it".

The Times reported on April 1 that about $13 million has been paid out to a total of five women who have accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment.

O'Reilly's departure is a major blow to Fox - which lost its top executive Roger Ailes past year in another sexual harassment scandal. Fox News has since settled with former network personality Gretchen Carlson, who sued the company, citing harassment from Ailes.

That certainly could happen, though it probably won't be easy.

Some analysts believe that James and Lachlan Murdoch - the sons of 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch - made the call on O'Reilly to change the Ailesian culture at the network and to cement their control following his departure.

A source close to O'Reilly said the broadcaster has not given much thought to his Fox-less future yet. "The O'Reilly Factor" has generated a huge ad bonanza for Fox, one that yielded more than $178 million in 2015. Shares in Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than 1 per cent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

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But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA and T. Rowe Price, pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's primetime "The O'Reilly Factor" show.

Nearly immediately after the announcement of O'Reilly's departure, Fox released its new, O'Reilly-less lineup, which will start Monday, the day O'Reilly had been scheduled to return from vacation.

At least now maybe things will have a friendlier air with Carlson sandwiched between Martha McCallum at 7 p.m. and "The Five" at 9 p.m. O'Reilly never passed the baton to Carlson at the close of his show.

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

Do we watch any of these people?

The O'Reilly Factor is the top-rated show on Fox News. It's home to movie and TV studios; a slew of sports and other cable channels; and the Fox broadcast network and shows like "The Simpsons", "Family Guy", and its latest hit, "Empire".

O'Reilly is also one of the country's most popular nonfiction authors. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster.

O'Reilly is now on vacation and, barring a decision otherwise by the Murdochs, scheduled to return to his show on April 24.

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

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC and CNBC.

"Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect".

The New York Times reports that an African-American woman - who remains anonymous - came forward this week with allegations of her own, saying O'Reilly would at various times grunt like a "wild boar" at her desk, leer at her and refer to her as "hot chocolate".

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