Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

O'Reilly is out at Fox News amid sexual harassment accusations

The New York Times reported earlier this month that O'Reilly and Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox paid a total of $13 million to stop women from speaking out against him or pursuing litigation over sexual harassment. Marc Kasowitz, O'Reilly's lawyer, said in a statement on Tuesday that the television host "has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America".

Starting on April 24, Tucker Carlson's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" will take over the coveted 8 p.m. ET time slot.

He released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying: 'It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims'.

Carlson's current 9 p.m. slot will be filled by the panel talk show "The Five", which will be replaced at 5 p.m. with a new show hosted by Eric Bolling, now a co-host of "The Five" and a frequent fill-in host on "The Factor".

As for her allegations against O'Reilly, they are quite vague so far but, her attorney, Lisa Bloom, who is also representing two other accusers, claims Heldman was also harassed by O'Reilly and retaliated against by the network.

The O'Reilly Factor is the top-rated show on Fox News.

As we reported last week, an independent analysis by the ad-tracking firm showed O'Reilly's program had lost about half its advertisers in a span of several weeks due to the allegations.

He had initially planned to return to his The O'Reilly Factor show on April 24, but as outrage mounted and new allegations of inappropriate behaviour surfaced, it became clear the company could no longer afford to back the star who helped bring Fox News to prominence almost 20 years ago.

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

She recalled one incident in which O'Reilly "got Margaret's name wrong, and she said, 'Hey, get my name right.' And he said, 'Oh, I'm sorry there's a lot of blondes in this operation, I can't keep you all straight, Megyn Kelly is coming up.' He starts telling all these blonde names".

This decision followed a New York Times story early this month detailing sexual assault lawsuits O'Reilly settled in the past.

"That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said. O'Reilly, the top rated host in cable news, is known for his combative, sometimes confrontational style.

Scores of companies yanked advertising from his show, the most popular in U.S. cable news watched on average by 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek.

His show generated 178 million dollars (£140m) in advertising revenue in 2015, according to Kantar Media. Ailes has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

With a profit centre gone, 21st Century Fox stock fell nearly 1% on Wednesday in heavy trading.

Francis always swings by the VIP seats at the end of his audience for a quick round of handshakes.

Pope Francis likely had no idea whose hand he was shaking however as the pontiff has said in interviews that he does not watch television.

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