O’Reilly out at Fox
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.