Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Ousting Draws Polarized Response on Twitter

The embattled news anchor and longtime pillar of Fox News was dropped on Wednesday by the network he helped build amid a steady stream of allegations that he engaged in sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour toward women over the years.

The former top-rated cable news host said in a statement, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims".

Carlson's tweet came a couple hours after 21st Century Fox announced that Bill O'Reilly would not be returning to Fox News amid accusations of sexual harassment and buy-outs to prevent accusers from speaking out.

The New York Times reported April 2 that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about the unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Fox said that Tucker Carlson's show would move to 8 p.m.to replace O'Reilly and that the panel talk show "The Five" would take Carlson's time slot at 9 p.m.

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 show.

The news was discussed by Howard Kurtz, Fox's media analyst, during a segment on the network's 6 p.m. program "Special Report".

Substitute host Dana Perino - who had been one of O'Reilly's fill-ins during the vacation he has been on and was supposed to return from - began the show by saying, "Before we get to the other big stories of the day, we want to address a situation many of you may already be aware of". His show averaged 3.27 million viewers during the first quarter of 2017, second only behind O'Reilly's almost 4 million. 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.

Following the Times story, Fox parent company 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior.

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Beck noted that with Roger Ailes gone from the company - Ailes quit last July amid sexual harassment allegations of his own - Rupert Murdoch wouldn't be able to stop his sons, Lachlan and James, from gutting the channel.

Smith also called on the cable news ratings leader to "release all employees from the mandatory arbitration and confidentiality clauses" in their contracts, which she says "have silenced women and kept the harassers, enablers and retaliators in place".

"Getting rid of the old guard is a way to do that", said Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the author of "Fox News & American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics & Society".

Fox News isn't getting a political makeover as O'Reilly leaves the building.

Ruddy, of Newsmax, said Wednesday, "I think Bill O'Reilly was the heart and soul of that network, and he has unparalleled and unchallenged talent". It is, in some ways, an astonishing moment in the history of the network, in particular, and cable news, in general.

OANN, for example, is available in about 35 million households in the USA, while Fox News is available in nearly 100 million.

New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal reported O'Reilly's forthcoming demise, but the final decision still came as something of a shock.

The network has faced ongoing issues with sexual harassment claims and loss of prominent personalities.

NY [U.S.A.], April 20 (ANI): Following his dismissal from position as a prime-time host on Fox News, Bill O'Reilly has said that it was tremendously disheartening that he had to part ways with Fox due to "completely unfounded claims". 21st Century Fox said after Walsh had called the hotline that it was opening an investigation into O'Reilly's conduct. Ousting O'Reilly, he said, "does not speak to a changed culture".

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