Fox News dumps embattled host over harassment allegations

Paola Ditto
Aprile 21, 2017

"Fox News' problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O'Reilly", said Ultraviolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas.

"After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Mr. O'Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel", the statement said.

O'Reilly had worked for Fox News since its 1996 launch, and the end of his career there came the same day the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, photographed him shaking hands with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square.

O'Reilly was on vacation in Rome Wednesday when the announcement was made.

Longtime Fox critics don't see it. Fox News has a "culture of harassment that did not start and does not end with Bill O'Reilly", said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the activist group Color of Change, which pressured advertisers to leave his show.

An investigative report published in the New York Times reported how Fox News and 21st Century Fox had allegedly remained on O'Reilly's side even as accusations of inappropriate behavior grew.

Kasowitz also said "irrefutable" evidence would soon reveal "that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far -left organizations bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons".

As the controversy snowballed dozens of advertisers withdrew their commercials from his program.

It is not known exactly how Fox News would handle O'Reilly's exit or whether he would be allowed to say goodbye to viewers on the air, according to the NY magazine report.

Carlson sued Roger Ailes, alleging harassment and retaliation, in July, 21st Century Fox reached a $20 million settlement with her and issued a public apology.

"The O'Reilly Factor" has been the most watched programme on Fox News and was coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The news came before a board meeting on Thursday that had been expected to discuss O'Reilly's position.

"Tucker Carlson Tonight" will take over O'Reilly's 8 p.m. time slot.

O'Reilly's departure will not have any effect on Twenty-First Century Fox's overall profitability, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

"Afterwards, O'Reilly simply said "let's get out of here".

She described O'Reilly's behaviour when they returned to the bar afterwards as "hostile".

"You need to write and call Fox News Channel today and tell them, you can lose your advertisers or you can lose your viewers", Beck said on his radio show.

"And I was told basically, 'Well, you know, Bill". The books in his "Killing" historical series, including "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Reagan", have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover, a rare achievement in publishing, and his platform on Fox enabled him to promote his work. This decision followed a New York Times story early this month detailing sexual assault lawsuits O'Reilly settled in the past.

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