Bill O’Reilly Fired by Fox News, Tucker Carlson Named as Replacement
Summary: Fox News has fired Bill O’Reilly.
It’s the end of an era for Bill O’Reilly. After 21 years on air, Fox News has fired the cantankerous talking head after his history of alleged sexual harassment came to light.
“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,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement on Wednesday.
The parent company of Fox News began an investigation on O’Reilly after The New York Times published an expose that revealed Fox News and O’Reilly had paid off five women in the course of ten years to settle sexual harassment allegations. In total, the women were paid $ 13 million to keep quiet and not go to court.
After the NY Times story, an immediate public backlash occurred. While hardcore O’Reilly fans stuck with him, almost 60 of his advertisers pulled their support of the show. These companies included Mercedes, AllState Insurance, and H&R Block.
Fox News has already lined up a replacement for O’Reilly–Tucker Carlson. The network said that Carlson’s show will have the same tone as The O’Reilly Factor, Variety said.
Variety also reported that the decision to oust O’Reilly probably happened yesterday or today. The Murdoch family, who owns Fox, has shown zero tolerance towards this type of behavior. Earlier this year, they fired Fox News CEO Roger Ailes after TV host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
Law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison conducted both Ailes and O’Reilly’s investigations.
O’Reilly had denied all of the claims against him, and he said that he was an easy target because of his money and position. His lawyer Marc Kasowitz blamed the far-left for O’Reilly’s troubles.
“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,” Kasowitz said to Buzzfeed. “That evidence will be put forth shortly, and it is irrefutable.”
The O’Reilly Factor had been number one in the ratings for years, and O’Reilly had approximately 3-4 million viewers a night. According to Buzzfeed, O’Reilly was a “cash cow” for the network. For instance, in 2015, he generated $ 178 million.
In a memo from Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, the leaders of Fox acknowledged O’Reilly’s popularity on television but that the company valued respect more.
“By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news,” the Murdochs said. “Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”
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