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Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel, still denies allegations

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 19, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Updated April 20, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.


In this April 6, 2016, file photo, Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration in New York.

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Photos by The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel's parent company fired Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday after an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing an end to cable news's most popular program.

O'Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis.

The downfall of Fox's most popular — and most lucrative — personality began with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about encounters with O'Reilly, who continued to deny any wrongdoing in a statement hours after he was fired. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased.

O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, was ousted after allegations of sexual harassment.

After the Times story, 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior. 21st Century Fox leaders Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James said in a memo to Fox staff that their decision to ax O'Reilly came after an "extensive review" into the charges.

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

O'Reilly, denied a chance to say goodbye to his Fox viewers, did so via a statement.

"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims," he said. "But that is the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers."

O'Reilly's dismissal doesn't signal any change of direction for the network: Fox said conservative pundit Tucker Carlson would move into O'Reilly's time slot — the second time in three months he's replaced an exiting prime-time personality. Carlson, a veteran who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, had taken over for Megyn Kelly in January when she announced she was moving to NBC News. The Five, a talk show with five rotating hosts that regularly airs at 5 p.m. ET, will move into the 9 p.m. time slot. Eric Bolling will host a new show that airs at 5 p.m. starting next month, the company said.

O'Reilly, 67, had ruled the "no spin zone" on television with a quick smile and an even quicker temper. He pushed a populist, conservative-leaning point of view born from growing up on Long Island, and was quick to shout down those who disagreed with him. Fans loved his willingness to talk back to power or point out hypocrisy among liberal politicians or media members.


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PopMom says... April 19, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.

Good riddance to O'Reilly. He will not be missed.

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TimberTopper says... April 19, 2017 at 1:58 p.m.

Mom, Trump may have a position open for him.

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Jfish says... April 19, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.

Maybe MSNBC can hire him to balance things out. Or as TT said, he would be fun to watch as the WH press secretary.

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JakeTidmore says... April 19, 2017 at 2:36 p.m.

It's almost gonna be a Star Wars moment if Bill shows up to see Sean. With some resemblance in their countenance, I can hear Bill murmur to Spicer, "Sean, I am your father."

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skeptic1 says... April 19, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.

Too bad CNN, NBC, ABC, and MSNBC don't have the ethics of Fox. Chris Matthews held up a Hillary Nutcracker and then said when she enters the room "men grab their loins," and then said "she owes her career to her husband's infidelity." Or how about that clown on CNN saying that the election of Trump was nothing more than "White backlash?" I am sorry to see Bill go he provides great resources for people and goes the extra mile to "do history." On a practical note, I would imagine those settlements were confidential so whoever leaked them should be looking forward to being a defendant in their own suit soon.

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BirdDogsRock says... April 19, 2017 at 2:40 p.m.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. As for Fox News, covering up sexual harassment seems to be just another day at the office.

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3WorldState1 says... April 19, 2017 at 2:46 p.m.

Ethics that Fox has. Extra mile. You crack me up.
Let's see, Fox has known about BIll and Roger exploiting women for years, and did nothing? Very ethical indeed. If only we all had those ethics.
Bill was an idiot. I've watched his show many, many times over the years. Talk about Fake News. I can only see people 70+ watching his show. It is so made for really old people and people that want to be told what to think.

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Slak says... April 19, 2017 at 3:03 p.m.

So right, 3WS.
Bill was always against recreational weed.
I hate him for it. Good riddance.

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skeptic1 says... April 19, 2017 at 3:07 p.m. remind me of one of my favorite quotes, "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain. It is always so amusing when ne'er do wells call highly accomplished and Ivy League educated people stupid, do ya think that makes up for your lack of accomplishments? If you think Trump's election was white backlash that says volumes about you and yet another THANK GOD the Obama era is over, he turned out to be the biggest racist we've ever seen in public office.

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Packman says... April 19, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.

By all accounts, O'Reilly deserved to be sh*t canned. Ratings will take for a bit as things level out but there was too much smoke for a very large fire not to exist. I vote they move Tucker Carlson into O"Reilly's spot and bring in Tomi Lahren or the Queen of the NRA Dana Loesch.

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