Bill O'Reilly has been let go amid allegations of sexual harassment, but that doesn't mean all is well at Fox News, says a prominent women's rights organization. O'Reilly has worked at Fox News since 1996 and is known for making racist and inflammatory remarks on his popular show, The O'Reilly Factor. The publication said that in total, O'Reilly and Fox News shelled out $13 million to settle these claims.
"Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America", Marc Kasowitz said in a statement.
But the social media-driven advertiser exodus ― along with public protests, continued fallout from the sexual harassment scandal involving former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, and the possibility of sinking a major British TV deal ― was apparently too much for the Murdochs.
O'Reilly has largely remained quiet in the face of these accusations, though he has rejected them and said he agreed to the settlements only to protect his family.
Now, the top ratings for O'Reilly's time slot - and Fox's other prime-time shows - could be at risk.
O'Reilly's attorney claimed on Tuesday that his client - a long-time conservative media icon - had been the target of a "smear campaign" financed by leftwing activist organisations.
Walsh does not have a legal claim against O'Reilly due to the statute of limitations on harassment cases in NY and California, but she did report the matter to the human resources hotline of the company earlier this month.
"What Rush Limbaugh was to talk radio, Bill O'Reilly has been to conservative television", said Mark Feldstein, communication professor at the University of Maryland.
The woman, who is African-American, said O'Reilly referred to her as "hot chocolate" at one point when they were together alone, made grunting noises and leered at her cleavage and legs, Bloom said.
While O'Reilly hasn't responded publicly to the latest allegation, he has said generally that the allegations against him are completely "unfounded".
The O'Reilly Factor drew almost four million viewers per night.
"The O'Reilly Factor" - long the top-rated show on cable TV news - will be replaced at 8 p.m.by Fox News host Tucker Carlson's show.
One look at the O'Reilly controversy shows how it's clear that no one, including a massive news network, wants to be associated with an individual accused of sexual misconduct, even if he is steadfast in his denial. With a profit centre gone, 21st Century Fox stock fell nearly 1 per cent Wednesday in heavy trading.
"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in a memo to Fox staff. Ousting O'Reilly, he said, "does not speak to a changed culture".
O'Reilly's "Killing" historical series, including "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Reagan", have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover, a rare achievement in publishing, and his platform on Fox enabled him to promote his work.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed O'Reilly was in the VIP section for the pope's Wednesday appearance.