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Things You Need to Know About Fox News Cutting Bill O'Reilly
21 April 2017, 03:05 | Andy Ferguson
O'Reilly had been in the headlines constantly since a New York Times investigation revealed on April 1 that he and Fox had covered up allegations of sexual harassment against him for at least 15 years, paying five women a total of $13 million in exchange for their silence.
After almost two decades as Fox News' most popular host, Bill O'Reilly, 67, was let go Wednesday by parent company 21st Century Fox.
Earlier, with the disclosure of multiple settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him, O'Reilly was forced out of his position as a prime-time host on Fox News.
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.
And you, his audience, responded in record numbers, making "The Factor" the number one cable news show for more than 16 years.
Kurtz discussed the Ailes matter on-air more extensively than he did the O'Reilly controversy.
Appearing on "Anderson Cooper 360" on Wednesday to talk about O'Reilly's exit from the network amid sexual harassment allegations, Powers recalled that at the beginning of her career as a political analyst she appeared regularly on "The O'Reilly Factor" along with Margaret Hoover.
On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox received an anonymous complaint against O'Reilly from a black female employee who claimed that the anchor had "leered" at her and referred to her as "hot chocolate" in 2008. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased.
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By that time, the news had already generated considerable coverage on Fox's primary cable news competitors, CNN and MSNBC.
The memo also praised O'Reilly's successes. Potential successors like Dana Perino, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld have substituted for O'Reilly since he left for vacation. It's the top-rated show on the No. 1 cable network - one that, according to the investment bank Nomura's estimates, accounts for fully 20 percent of profits at 21st Century Fox.
A source close to O'Reilly said the broadcaster has not given much thought to his Fox-less future yet.
In a statement posted on his Web site, O'Reilly said he was "extremely proud" of his time at Fox News, which he said "significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television".
"But you have to put some spine back into the Murdoch family and the Fox News Channel board because you are about to lose Bill O'Reilly".
His book publishing partner, Henry Holt, said Wednesday that "our plans have not changed".
The National Geographic channel has aired a series of adaptations of O'Reilly books, including "Killing Reagan" and "Killing Kennedy". A photographer from the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano snapped a photo of Francis reaching out to shake his hand.
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