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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bill O'Reilly gone from Fox News

(Photo: Fox News Channel)
Bill O'Reilly is no longer going to be the Fox News icon--he's done. He has been forced out as a prime-time host after it has been disclosed that multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations have been made against him.

O'Reilly's ouster ends his two-decades as the most popular and influential cable TV commentator.

"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, the parent company of Fox News, said in a statement.

To the credit of Fox News Channel, they stood by O'Reilly even after the allegations of sexual harassment were piled on. He reached settlements with five women to the tune of around $13 million.

Apparently, after more than 50 advertisers abandoned O'Reilly's show, "The Factor," it was time for Fox to call it quits. 

The New York Times reported that inside the company, women were outraged and questioned whether Fox executives were "serious about maintaining a culture based on 'trust and respect,' as they had promised last summer when another sexual harassment scandal forced the ouster of Fox News' chairman, Roger Ailes."

(Photo: Fox News Channel)
O'Reilly, 67, didn't comment on his status since he left on vacation last week, but his attorney issued a statement Tuesday calling it a "smear campaign" by liberal opponents. It said that Mr. O'Reilly "has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.

With the 8 p.m. spot empty, Fox will move Tucker Carlson in that time-slot and move "The Five" from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Beginning May 1st, Eric Bolling will debut a one-hour program at 5:00 p.m. Martha MacCallum's show, "First 100 Days" will remain permanent. Perhaps they will rename it "First 1461 Days" to cover President Trump's first term in office.

O'Reilly's departure follows that of Roger Ailes who, nine months ago, was forced out as chairman after a sexual harassment lawsuit by former host Gretchen Carlson and at least six other women, all of which he denied. One of those women is Megyn Kelly who also clashed with O'Reilly and has since left Fox for liberal NBC last December.

The message that Rupert Murdoch and his sons are sending is that there is now a change in the company's culture and harassment is unacceptable.

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