The 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA) announced the departure of top rated TV host Bill O’Reilly from Fox News.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company said, “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.”
Mr. O’Reilly spent 21 years at Fox News. His talk show, The O’Reilly Factor is pulling in around $200 million in advertising revenue annually. The multiple sexual harassment allegations against him prompted advertisers to flee from the network.
Advertisers consider the allegations against the prominent TV host as “disturbing” and they feel that the TV program is currently not a good environment to advertise their products. Companies value the importance of women.
In a separate statement, Fox News announced that The O’Reilly Factor will continue with guest hosts for the rest of the week. Starting Monday, Tucker Carlson Tonight will move into Mr. O’Reilly’s time slot at 8:00 PM Easter Time. The Five will take the 9:00 PM time slot and the First 100 Days show hosted by Martha MacCallum will be airing at 7:00 PM.
With the decision to let go Mr. O’Reilly, 21st Century Fox Chairman CEO Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James demonstrated their commitment to change the culture within the company and sexual harassment is not acceptable.
Mr. O’Reilly’s exit came nine month after Fox News ousted Roger Ailes as Chairman and CEO due to multiple sexual harassment allegations filed by at least half a dozen women including former host Gretchen Carlson.
The O’Reilly Factor started in 1996. The show has a large following because of Mr. O’Reilly’s conservative views, straight and confrontational commentaries. In the first quarter of this year, the ratings of the program remained high—its average viewers is less than 4 million and increasing despite the scandal surrounding the TV host.
Mr. O’Reilly is currently on a vacation in Italy. He is scheduled to return on Monday. Former White House press secretary has been filling in as host of The O’Reilly Factor.
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