O'Reilly Ousted at Fox News

The Latest Fox News addresses O’Reilly departure

"In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline", he added.

Lisa Bloom, who represents three women accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment, called the announcement by Fox News a victory for victims who were courageous enough to come forward and hopes more will now do the same.

O'Reilly's downfall comes less than a year after the exit of Fox News founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, after it emerged he too was the subject of a series of sexual harassment lawsuits. "And at the end of the segment he says, 'Thank you for your blondness, ' to both of us".

O'Reilly said in a statement at the time that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy.

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". Dozens of advertisers ditched "The O'Reilly Factor" after a New York Times report detailed $13 million in payouts to five women over his alleged abusive behavior; more allegations subsequently emerged.

Activist groups such as the National Organisation for Women have been bringing pressure to bear for weeks on the firm to fire O'Reilly in a case that NOW said became emblematic of the "culture of sexual harassment at Fox News" and requires an "immediate independent investigation".

The family made a similar promise last summer when it ousted Ailes, but female staff members said they remained hesitant to report inappropriate behavior to network leaders, fearing retaliation. He was the top-rated host in cable news, delivering defiant commentary every weeknight with a message that celebrated patriotism and expressed scorn for political correctness. At the end of the show, she paid him a warm tribute.

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As Fox News scrambles to retain an image of "respect" and "truth", it is clear that O'Reilly's replacement in the form of Carlson will have to be much more than just a simple rescheduling of time slots and on-air content.

Fox News announced that it was working with advertisers, shifting their buys to run on other shows. "He's been the linchpin" of the lineup, said Jane Hall, an American University professor and former Fox contributor, who noted that it will take a while to see whether his loyal audience sticks with O'Reilly's replacement.

"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in the memo.

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.

Greene said that the executive never returned her phone call. So I did quit his show and I didn't do it for two or three years.

O'Reilly's salary is believed to be $18 million. "Our plans have not changed", a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Up to last week, the effects O'Reilly's scandal had on his program appeared mixed.

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