- Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Fox News has cut ties to “The O'Reilly Factor” host Bill O'Reilly, 21st Century Fox confirmed in a statement Wednesday.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the statement said.
The news comes after multiple allegations emerged that O'Reilly has sexually harassed and verbally abused female employees.
The New York Times reported Marc E. Kasowitz, an attorney for O’Reilly, issued the following statement Tuesday as reports emerged that he may lose his job:
Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly, and it is irrefutable.
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. In the fallout, The Associated Press reported that about 60 sponsors had withdrawn advertisements for “The O'Reilly Factor.”
NPR reported that “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host Tucker Carlson will replace O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. show slot.
O’Reilly was set to return to the show this coming Monday, following an already scheduled vacation.
An internal memo was sent to Fox News Channel employees Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
We’d like to address questions about Bill O’Reilly’s future at Fox News. After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.
This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.
By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news.
Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.
The letter was signed by Fox News Channel Chairman Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and 21st Century Fox Co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch.
Hours later, O’Reilly released a statement, maintaining that the accusations of sexual harassment are “unfounded.”
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Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality 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. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.