Arts&Culture

O'Reilly Still Denies Harassment Allegations After Fox News Ouster

O'Reilly Still Denies Harassment Allegations After Fox News Ouster

O'Reilly's ouster was announced by 21st Century Fox in a short statement that read: "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".

"Fox News' problem with sexual harassment and assault is way bigger than just Bill O'Reilly", said Ultraviolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas.

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 primetime "The O'Reilly Factor" show. "From Roger Ailes to Bill O'Reilly, Fox News has consistently failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment and abuse - and that's a big problem". Its leading female star, Megyn Kelly, decamped for NBC in January. "We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news".

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

NY magazine reported Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit. For two decades O'Reilly has ruled the "no spin zone" with cable news' most popular show, and his ratings had never been higher. "The O'Reilly Factor" has generated a huge ad bonanza for Fox, one that yielded more than $178 million in 2015.

O'Reilly's departure will not have any effect on Twenty-First Century Fox's overall profitability, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research. "The Five" will move into the 9 p.m. ET timeslot starting Monday. But now O'Reilly will be replaced by Tucker Carlson.

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

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There was no immediate response from Bill O'Reilly's bosses Wednesday to escalating reports that the Fox News Channel personality will lose his job following accusations he had harassed women.

O'Reilly is also one of the country's most popular nonfiction authors. Fox owns 39 percent of European TV giant Sky, and has long wanted to take over the whole company. Its previous effort died in 2011, a casualty of the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers.

"Credit to James and Lachlan for doing the right thing here", said DiClemente, who noted that dealing with the O'Reilly controversy "in the right way" could be helpful for the Sky review.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal.

"Lastly and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of truest and respect". The decisions of each company took place after the allegations of sexual harassment against O'Reilly gained prominence in media.

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. Ousting O'Reilly, he said, "does not speak to a changed culture".


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