Bill O’Reilly, highly profitable but controversial anchor, has been let go from the channel following accusations of sexual harassment.
The firing decision:
21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, sent an email to staff saying that O’Reilly was leaving after a review of accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior submitted against him.
The email said: “After a thorough review of the allegations against him, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.”
At the time of the decision, O’Reilly was on holiday in Italy and shook hands with the Pope. Also, the decision was taken one day prior to 21st Century Fox’s board was to meet to discuss the anchor’s future.
O’Reilly’s slot will reportedly be taken by Tucker Carlson as his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” will move from 9pm to 8pm.
Gabriel Sherman, the author of a biography of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, had reported on Wednesday that the decision to let go of O’Reilly has been made.
He added that Rupert Murdoch wanted to stand by his star, reportedly, However, Lachlan and James, his sons, decided it was time for the anchor to go.
On New York magazine’s website, Sherman wrote: “The Murdochs have decided Bill O’Reilly’s 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24.”
Earlier this month, a report in the New York Times stated that Fox News paid out $17m to settle claims against the anchor from five women, afterwards, the channel decided to get rid of O’Reilly. The anchor has continued to deny the accusations.
President Donald Trump offered vocal support to the anchor, saying that there was no need for O’Reilly to stand down.
After the accusations emerged, Trump said: “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong. I think he’s a person I know well – he is a good person.”
Marc Kasowitz, O’Reilly’s lawyer, said on Tuesday that his client was being attacked by left-wing organizations.
In a statement Kasowitz said: “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.”