Fox sacks Bill O'Reilly amid harassment storm

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Fox sacks Bill O'Reilly amid harassment storm

The repercussions of O'Reilly's departure had been discussed during the previous hour, during which the hosts of "The Five" talked about the programming changes made in the wake of O'Reilly's departure - all without mentioning O'Reilly's name. The news came before a board meeting on Thursday that had been expected to discuss O'Reilly's position. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than 1 percent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on O'Reilly's show, told the Times the cable TV anchor retracted a lucrative role as a Fox contributor after she rebuffed his sexual advances in 2013.

Charles Herring, the president of Herring Networks, which owns OANN, said he expected Fox would replace O'Reilly with a highly capable host, but he's hopeful that "viewers migrate to One America News".

"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 the statement.

"This is what happens when women speak our truth - we can slay dragons", said attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents three of the women who accused O'Reilly, insisting Fox should have fired him years ago. At the end of the show, she paid him a warm tribute.

Commentators said his dismissal marked a defining point for Fox, less than a year after Roger Ailes, the 76-year-old former executive who built up the channel, resigned under a haze of similarly damaging sexual harassment accusations.

Even though at least one of the harassment cases against O'Reilly dated back more than a decade and was widely reported then, the accumulation of cases outlined in the Times damaged him much more extensively. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere. And you, his audience, responded in record numbers, making "The Factor" the number one cable news show for more than 16 years. And I said, 'If you mean he is a Neanderthal, then we are on the same page, I am a political analyst here.

The reasons for his departure were not mentioned.

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

How much money does O'Reilly make?

But Fox was mostly silent.

This story has been corrected to show that the downfall of O'Reilly began with an April 1, not April 2 report in The New York Times.

O'Reilly's firing comes after media outlets reported in early April that the outspoken conservative TV host and 21st Century Fox had paid up to $13 million since 2002 to five accusers so that they would not pursue their harassment lawsuits.

Despite the allegations and loss of 60 advertisers, "The O'Reilly Factor" saw an increase in both ratings and viewers a week after the allegations surfaced, according to the Hollywood Reporter. And when Ailes was forced into a resignation in July, it was Kurtz who announced it on air.

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