O’Reilly out at Fox

The Daily Courier - - NEWS -

NEW YORK (AP) — Bill O’Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Chan­nel fol­low­ing re­ports that five women had been paid mil­lions of dol­lars to keep quiet about ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions.

21st Cen­tury Fox is­sued a state­ment Wed­nes­day that “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.”

He had been sched­uled to re­turn from a va­ca­tion next Mon­day.

O’Reilly was pho­tographed in Rome shak­ing Pope Fran­cis’ hand on Wed­nes­day.

It marks a stun­ning end to a near-per­fect mar­riage be­tween a pug­na­cious per­son­al­ity and net­work. For two decades, O’Reilly ruled the “no spin zone” with ca­ble news’ most pop­u­lar show, and his rat­ings had never been higher.

In a memo to Fox staff on Wed­nes­day, the Mur­dochs, who own Fox, said the de­ci­sion fol­lowed an ex­ten­sive re­view done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with an out­side coun­sel.

Fox said Tucker Carl­son’s show would move to 8 p.m. to re­place O’Reilly and the panel talk show, The Five, would take Carl­son’s time slot at 9 p.m.

The fast-mov­ing story took shape with an April 2 re­port in The New York Times that five women had been paid a to­tal of $13 mil­lion to keep quiet about un­pleas­ant en­coun­ters with O’Reilly, who de­nied any wrong­do­ing. Dozens of ad­ver­tis­ers fled, even though O’Reilly's view­er­ship in­creased. O’Reilly has de­nied wrong­do­ing.

Even though at least one of the ha­rass­ment cases dated back more than a decade and was widely re­ported then, the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of cases out­lined in the Times dam­aged him much more ex­ten­sively.

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