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Bill OReilly Is Forced Out at Fox News
Bill OReilly Is Forced Out at Fox News
By EMILY STEEL and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
APRIL 19, 2017
New York Times
A shorter URL for the above link:
Bill OReillys reign as the top-rated host in cable news came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Wednesday as Fox News forced him out after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more.
Mr. OReilly and his employers came under intense pressure after an article by The New York Times on April 1 revealed how Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had repeatedly stood by him even as he and the company reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and womens rights groups had called for him to be fired. Inside the company, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on trust and respect, as they had promised last summer when another sexual harassment scandal led to the ouster of Roger E. Ailes as chairman of Fox News.
That left Mr. OReillys fate in the hands of the Murdoch family, which controls 21st Century Fox. In the end, according to two people familiar with the decision, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, made their call after reviewing the results of an internal investigation that found that multiple women had reported inappropriate behavior by Mr. OReilly.
After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill OReilly have agreed that Bill OReilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel, 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
During an appearance at an event in New York on Wednesday evening, James Murdoch stopped to answer a question about the decision, saying: We did a thorough investigation, a thorough review, and we reached a conclusion. Everything that we said in our statement is all you need to know.
For a generation of conservative-leaning Fox News viewers, Mr. OReilly, 67, was a populist voice who railed against what they viewed as the politically correct message of a lecturing liberal media. Defiantly proclaiming his show a No Spin Zone, he produced programming infused with patriotism and a scorn for feminists and movements like The War on Christmas, which became one of his signature themes.
In a statement later in the day, Mr. OReilly praised Fox News but said it was 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, he said. 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.
Mr. OReillys departure is the latest development in a tumultuous nine months at Fox News. In the aftermath of Mr. Ailess dismissal in July, the Murdochs pledged to clean up the networks culture. But since then, it has been hit with new sexual harassment allegations, and female staff members said they remained fearful of reporting inappropriate behavior.
Mr. OReillys dismissal was hailed by womens rights activists and some inside the company as a sign that the network, and perhaps corporate culture at large, was finally taking the issue of sexual harassment seriously.
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