Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Fox News Cans The O'Reilly Factor

Fox had for weeks largely ignored the scandal that ultimately brought O'Reilly down.

"Fox News' problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O'Reilly", said Ultraviolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas. One look at the O'Reilly controversy shows how it's clear that no one, including a massive news network, wants to be associated with an individual accused of sexual misconduct, even if he is steadfast in his denial. Fox's longtime CEO Roger Ailes resigned abruptly amid similar sexual harassment charges last July.

Fox News parent 21st Century Fox announced in a statement earlier on Wednesday that it was severing ties with its star host.

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

It was signed by Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who is also executive chairman of News Corp, which owns the New York Post.

Bloom said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon that Heldman claims she was subjected to "sex discrimination and retaliation" and reported those allegations to the Fox news hotline. Carlson received a $20 million settlement from 21st Century Fox in September.

Carlson will be taking up O'Reilly's 8 p.m. slot on April 24, according to Fox News. More than 50 advertisers withdrew from his prime-time show, and 21st Century Fox asked a law firm to investigate a complaint from a woman who said O'Reilly dropped efforts to make her a contributor in 2013 after she turned down his invitation to visit his hotel room.

Others figure that O'Reilly's firing won't be a sticking point for most Fox viewers. "21st Century Fox takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously", the company had said, adding that O'Reilly had denied the "merits of these claims".

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. 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. He thanked his viewers and noted the success Fox had achieved.

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

This particular show consistently got Fox News its best ratings, drawing nearly 4 million viewers a night and generating more than $446 million in advertising revenue between 2014 and 2016, according to Kantar Media.

Dr Walsh told TODAY Extra she was invited to fly to NY to meet the host after she had appeared as a guest on the O'Reilly Factor from a Los Angeles studio. Inside the company too, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on "trust and respect".

O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence. 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. "It speaks to a company that has recognized that the best business decision for them is to end their relationship with Bill O'Reilly".

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