Fox fires Bill O’Reilly as advertisers flee O’Reilly Factor due to more sexual harassment allegations
Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly was fired from his prime-time TV position yesterday, just hours after shaking hands with Pope Francis during his overseas trip and visit to the Vatican.
21st Century Fox, which owns the Fox News Channel, announced O’Reilly had been dropped Wednesday as the host faces ongoing claims of sexual harassment, which caused many advertisers to cease sponsorship of his Fox News show, the O’Reilly Factor.
“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,” the network said in their statement.
O’Reilly’s show is one of the network’s most popular, averaging 4 million viewers, and bringing Fox News $147.13 million in advertising revenue in 2016.
Fox and O’Reilly had previously paid five women a total of $13 million to settle harassment claims made against the anchor, but O’Reilly denies the allegations.
O’Reilly responded, saying: “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today…
“I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
Just after Pope Francis’ traditional Wednesday address, O’Reilly shook hands with Francis after attending in the VIP section in St Peter’s Square. Francis had given an address about hope in the face of despair, saying that “God makes his most beautiful flowers bloom amid the most arid rocks.”
Fox says Tucker Carlson will fill the time slot.