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Bill O'Reilly loses job at Fox News following sexual harassment allegations

Bill O'Reilly loses job at Fox News following sexual harassment allegations

Fired on Wednesday amid a drumbeat of sexual harassment allegations, the vacationing host's "The O'Reilly Factor" was quickly redubbed "The Factor" and Fox News announced his time slot will be filled by Tucker Carlson, another adamantly conservative Fox host who dovetails with the channel's audience. "The Five", a talk show with five rotating hosts that regularly airs at 5 p.m. ET, will move into the 9 p.m. time slot.

Eric Bolling, now a host of "The Five", will get his own show airing during the 5 p.m. hour.

According to the report, the five women who received settlements either worked for O'Reilly or appeared as guests on his show.

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

The fast-moving story took shape with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing.

21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday that "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".

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By Wednesday afternoon - one day after the unnamed woman told the press through her attorney, Lisa Bloom, about her experience - O'Reilly was out.

"Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television ..." Roger Ailes was removed as CEO after a sexual-harassment scandal last summer, Greta van Susteren went to MSNBC, and Megyn Kelly went to NBC News.

Dana Perino, who had been subbing for O'Reilly who had been on vacation for the past few days, acknowledged his departure at the top of "The Factor".

And 21st Century Fox is much bigger than O'Reilly, Fox News and its aging, conservative audience. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel". O'Reilly's ratings overshadow Carlson's, and his show's viewership fell this week while he was on vacation and other Fox hosts subbed in.

Noting the "dramatic changes", Perino said: "It is the end of the era". He pushed a populist, conservative-leaning point of view, and was quick to shout down those who disagreed with him.

Fox also has a big financial safety cushion in the fees cable companies pay the network, which dwarf its ad revenue, according to Nomura media analyst Anthony DiClemente.

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With a profit center gone, 21st Century Fox stock fell nearly 1 percent Wednesday in heavy trading. Olbermann said that when he was working at Fox Sports in 1999, he helped a friend get a job at Fox News.

Longtime Fox critics don't see it. Fox News has a "culture of harassment that did not start and does not end with Bill O'Reilly", said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the activist group Color of Change, which pressured advertisers to leave his show.

For O'Reilly, who has been with Fox since October 1996, it marks a stunning downfall.

But many of O'Reilly's fans took to social media to express their unhappiness at losing their hero. He has also had best-sellers with everything from the memoir "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" to his most recent work, "Old School", which includes passages urging the respectful treatment of women.

Both Fox and O'Reilly confirmed O'Reilly's departure from the network earlier Wednesday.

The National Geographic channel has aired a series of adaptations of O'Reilly books, including "Killing Reagan" and "Killing Kennedy". Such tickets can be obtained via special request to the papal household from embassies, high-ranking churchmen or Vatican officials. A photographer from the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano snapped a photo of Francis reaching out to shake his hand.

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He had initially planned to return to his The O'Reilly Factor show on April 24.

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