Bill O'Reilly loses job at Fox News Channel amid harassment allegations

Thursday, 20 Apr, 2017

This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.

The 2.32 million who watched Gutfeld on Friday was down 39 percent from the previous Friday and, alarmingly, was even lower than Tucker Carlson's audience at 9 p.m. Carlson usually benefits from O'Reilly's strong lead-in.

The Times reported on April 1 that about $13 million has been paid out to a total of five women who have accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment.

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.

Twenty-First Century Fox has tapped the law firm Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which also looked into the allegations against Mr Ailes, to investigate Mr O'Reilly's conduct.

"They did it because we persisted", attorney Lisa Bloom said in the statement. "My phone is ringing off the hook". Possibilities are pure speculation at this point, but sources told CNN that there are multiple potential hosts who might be put into O'Reilly's time slot.

President Donald Trump-another influential male media titan familiar with the legalities of sexual harassment claims-came to O'Reilly's defense earlier this month, but the president's backing was no match for the fallout caused by the mass exodus of corporate sponsors.

In any case, the magazine reports, Fox execs want the move to be seamless and are discussing possible replacements such as Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed O'Reilly was in the VIP section Wednesday.

ABC News has not been able to independently verify reporting in the Times, New York Magazine, Hollywood Reporter or Wall Street Journal stories.

Bloom announced Wednesday that she was representing a third O'Reilly accuser, Occidental College politics professor and occasional Fox News guest Caroline Heldman, writing on Twitter that "we just called in her report" to the Fox News sexual harassment hotline.

An internal memo to employees on Wednesday noted that, "By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news".

FILE - In this combination photo, Fox News Channel personality Bill O'Reilly appears at The Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in Media" celebration on April 6, 2016, in NY, left, and Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass in Piazza Martiri Square, in Carpi, northern Italy, on April 2, 2017.

O'Reilly, who was with the network for 20 years, said he was proud of his time at Fox.

Citing trusted network sources, several news outlets have reported that Fox News Channel execs are leaning toward firing the longtime host amid new allegations he sexually harassed a Black female co-worker.

Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women's rights groups called for his ouster.