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Stephen Colbert and 'Stephen Colbert' bid farewell to Bill O'Reilly

20 April 2017, 05:02 | Todd Saunders

A Fox News spokeswoman said the network's media reporter, Howard Kurtz, would join Bret Baier's "Special Report" program to discuss O'Reilly's departure and that O'Reilly would be covered on "The Five" and "Tucker Carlson Tonight".

"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. A representative for O'Reilly, who has been off the air on vacation since April 11, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel'.

In his own statement, issued a few hours before The O'Reilly-less Factor began, the ousted show host - on holiday in Italy where he met the Pope - said: "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims". He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere.

In a memo to staff, Rupert, James, and Lachlan Murdoch, who run Fox News, said of Bill: "By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news".

But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA and T. Rowe Price, pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's show.

According to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media, it brought in $147.13 million in advertising revenue in 2016. There was the prospect of even more, with his audience larger in the first three months of 2017 than it has ever been.

Deadline reported that In FNC's Mediabuzz, Howard Kurtz said his bosses severed ties to O'Reilly "after mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior prompted the network to end his program". Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than 1 percent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading. "Half of the fun that they have with their audiences comes from watching the outrage that they manage to provoke". "That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

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"Some other media outlet is going to pick him up and syndicate what he does".

"We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this, and we will talk more about it later on in the program". While O'Reilly survived then, the accumulation of cases outlined in the Times damaged him much more extensively. He has also had best-sellers 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.

Even with O'Reilly gone from Fox, Sesno said he doubts that the public appetite for his brand of "angry, high-decibel" chatter will give way to a new regard for civility.

Stephen Colbert, who mercilessly parodied O'Reilly on "The Colbert Report", paid tongue-in-cheek homage to the deposed host Wednesday on Colbert's late-night CBS show.

"Nation, shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O'Reilly", Colbert's alter ego said.

One harassment case, from a former producer who said O'Reilly called her and described sexual fantasies and appeared to be masturbating, dated back more than a decade and was widely reported then.

"I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him", Colbert said.

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