O'Reilly Still Denies Harassment Allegations After Fox News Ouster

Candice Alexander
April 20, 2017

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). A poster featuring Bill O'Reilly is displayed at the News Corp. headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Martha MacCallum, who has been hosting a seasonal special called The First 100 Days, is expected to continue at 7 p.m.

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, File). (O'Reilly has denied these claims.) However, the situation changed after more than 50 advertisers stepped away from his show and activism groups called on 21st Century Fox to sever ties with O'Reilly.

"I don't think Bill did anything wrong", President Trump told the Times in an interview earlier this month.

The downfall of Fox's most popular, and most lucrative, personality began with an April 1 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of 13 million dollars (£10.2m) to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly.

21 Century Fox, Fox News's parent company, announced earlier Wednesday that O'Reilly would not return to the network.

That certainly could happen, though it probably won't be easy.

The statement announcing O'Reilly's departure was signed by Rupert, Lachlan, and James Murdoch.

"Getting rid of the old guard is a way to do that", said Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the author of "Fox News & American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics & Society".

Apart from Kelly and O'Reilly, he also replaced Greta van Susteren whose departure from the news network was reportedly less than pleasant. In the fallout, The Associated Press reported that about 60 sponsors had withdrawn advertisements for "The O'Reilly Factor".

With a profit center gone, 21st Century Fox stock fell nearly 1 percent Wednesday in heavy trading.

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Rounding out the Fox prime-time lineup, "Hannity" remains at 10 p.m. EDT.

"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in a memo to Fox staff.

The Late Show airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.

NY magazine reported Wednesday that executives were preparing to announce O'Reilly's departure before his return from Italy and were holding emergency meetings to discuss how to sever the relationship without damaging the network.

Bloom said she hopes the O'Reilly case will serve as an example to women who have been similarly victimized but have not come forward. He then went live to "Bill O'Reilly's biggest fan" - aka his Colbert Report persona - who quickly launched into a tirade against the PC culture that toppled O'Reilly: "Suddenly, sexual harassment is a crime?" Dozens of advertisers pulled out of "The O'Reilly Factor".

Fox might also have found it financially risky let O'Reilly remain.

"About three weeks after appearing on his show, I received an email ... asking if I would after dinner with him", Dr Walsh said. Fox owns 39 percent of European TV giant Sky, and has long wanted to take over the whole company. And Fox pointed out that the network finished last week ahead of all cable networks in viewership, as it has for much of this year. Such allegations drove Roger Ailes from the company.

"Fox News should have fired him in 2004 when (former Fox News producer) Andrea Mackris spoke out, but at least they did it now", she said.

In a nod to the allegations against O'Reilly, the statement closed with "we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect".

Fox is preparing to end its relationship with the host of "The O'Reilly Factor" following a wave of sexual harassment allegations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Other reports by VgToday

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