Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel after 20 years

Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel after 20 years

American TV host Bill O'Reilly's USA publisher Macmillan is to stick by him after he was sacked from his Fox News talk show following the revelation that he has settled several sexual harassment cases.

O'Reilly has denied the merits of all sexual harassment claims made against him.

"But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today", he added. Carlson's show had been moved earlier this year to replace "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly, another Fox News star who left for NBC in January. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.

O'Reilly has been enmeshed in controversy since the start of this month after The New York Times reported five women were paid about $US13 million ($A17 million) in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about the accusations.

The company said Wednesday that it had parted ways with longtime host Bill O'Reilly after a "thorough and careful review of allegations against him".

The Murdoch sons decided they could not tolerate O'Reilly's reported behavior - problematic enough to pay settlement claims - after ousting Ailes and announcing that 21st Century Fox would be a more enlightened workplace. "Bill O'Reilly will not be returning". Conservative personality Glenn Beck - who once lost a job at Fox because a similar campaign choked his program of paying advertisers - came to O'Reilly's defense on his radio show.

The network's parent company, entertainment giant 21st Century Fox, insisted that Fox News will weather the current storm, noting in a statement the "strength of its talent bench" and expressing "full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news".

So to mark O'Reilly's departure, "The Late Show" issued a statement from O'Reilly's biggest fan, Colbert's alter-ego "Stephen Colbert".

O'Reilly is on a almost two-week vacation at the same time Fox News Channel's parent company investigated a woman's accusation that her career was slowed when she spurned his advances. His viewers could count on him each night to attack the so-called mainstream media's perceived bias, proponents of political correctness and the actions of Hollywood liberals. "He's been the linchpin" of the lineup, said Jane Hall, an American University professor and former Fox contributor, who noted that it will take a while to see whether his loyal audience sticks with O'Reilly's replacement. It's the top-rated show on the No. 1 cable network - one that, according to the investment bank Nomura's estimates, accounts for fully 20 percent of profits at 21st Century Fox. "I don't like him, but he makes so much money, there's nothing I can do'". The report led to O'Reilly losing dozens of advertisers on his program, which has the highest ratings in cable news. He has also had bestsellers with everything from the memoir "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" to his most recent work, "Old School", which includes passages urging the respectful treatment of women.

Meanwhile, on vacation in Rome Wednesday, O'Reilly shook Pope Francis' hand.

Henry Holt also has an untitled O'Reilly book scheduled for release in September.

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