O'Reilly Still Denies Harassment Allegations After Fox News Ouster

President Trump's Super Bowl Sunday Interview With Bill O'Reilly

An investigative report published in the New York Times reported how Fox News and 21st Century Fox had allegedly remained on O'Reilly's side even as accusations of inappropriate behavior grew.

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".

"In many ways, he led Fox's cable news revolution", said Frank Sesno, a journalism professor at George Washington University and former CNN Washington bureau chief.

O'Reilly averaged almost 4 million viewers a night for the first three months of 2017, his best performance ever. Fox News says that they made a decision to move on from O'Reilly after an investigation that was done in collaboration with an outside party; the allegations are still just that, but there was obviously enough concern about them to cause dozens of advertisers to pull their ads.

James and Lachlan Murdoch - mogul Rupert Murdoch's sons who are pretty much running the show now - know that Fox News needs to think about how it captures younger viewers. Its leading female star, Megyn Kelly, decamped for NBC in January. "But you have to put some spine back into the Murdoch family and the Fox News Channel board because you are about to lose Bill O'Reilly".

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

Even with O'Reilly gone from Fox, Sesno said he doubts that the public appetite for his brand of "angry, high-decibel" chatter will give way to a new regard for civility. And you, his audience, responded in record numbers, making "The Factor" the number one cable news show for more than 16 years. With a profit centre gone, 21st Century Fox stock fell nearly 1 per cent Wednesday in heavy trading.

Bill O'Reilly's 21-year career at Fox News has come to a sudden and ignoble end.

21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, announced Wednesday that O'Reilly will not be returning to his position as host of the "The O'Reilly Factor", a political commentary program which had aired since 1996.

In addition, two more women surfaced with new charges against O'Reilly. And those advertisers might have returned once the dust settled around the most-watched - and most profitable - cable-TV network. It could also have alienated employees.

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere.

O'Reilly was dismissed overnight following allegations of sexual harassment by at least six women. "Just yesterday, an African American woman at Fox came forward claiming O'Reilly used to leer at her and call her 'Hot Chocolate'". Inside the company too, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on "trust and respect".

In the wake of his firing Wednesday, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly maintained that sexual harassment claims against him were not true, calling his dismissal over the allegations "tremendously disheartening".

Noting the "dramatic changes", Perino said: "It is the end of the era".


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