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Bill O'Reilly Out at Fox, Lineup Shaken Up

Bill O'Reilly Out at Fox, Lineup Shaken Up

O'Reilly's statement came just hours after Fox's parent company announced "The O'Reilly Factor" host wouldn't be returning to the network "after a thorough and careful review of the allegations".

The claims against O'Reilly, 67, added fuel to a crisis that began last summer when former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against the network's former executive, Roger Ailes, whom she alleged damaged her career after she spurned his sexual advances. "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.

O'Reilly's dismissal doesn't signal any change of direction for the network: Fox said conservative pundit Tucker Carlson would move into O'Reilly's time slot - the second time in three months he's replaced an exiting prime-time personality. Martha MacCallum, who has been hosting a seasonal special called The First 100 Days, is expected to continue at 7 p.m. One of its current hosts, Eric Bolling, will host a new 5 p.m. show beginning May 1.

But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America (BMWG.DE), Allstate Corp (ALL.N), French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) and T. Rowe Price (TROW.O), pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's show. She quit the job - and the business - due to her treatment by O'Reilly, he said. One of them? To join Colbert and O'Reilly's longtime on-air nemesis, Jon Stewart, in their mountain cabin. Olbermann said that when he was working at Fox Sports in 1999, he helped a friend get a job at Fox News.

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.

The New York Times published a report earlier this month that claimed O'Reilly made sexually charged remarks and overtures to at least five female employees whose complaints the network or the TV host settled out of court.

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He had been scheduled to return from a vacation next Monday.

Fox News, which accounts for an estimated quarter of Fox's profit, has stayed on top in cable ratings despite the internal turmoil.

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. The Murdochs lost out on that deal five years ago after the company was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal and may not have wanted to leave anything to chance this time around.

"You may not know this, but Bill O'Reilly was the biggest figure in the history of cable news", Noah explained, before launching a clip package of various ways in which O'Reilly argued white people are persecuted.

Fox could soon be confronted with new harassment allegations.


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