O'Reilly leaves Fox News amid harassment claims

Tonight: Mad Lib Theater With Kevin Spacey

A security guard looks out of the the News Corp. headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

It is the big question on the minds of many in the television industry: Can Fox News successfully fill the newly vacated primetime slot long dominated by Bill O'Reilly? O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that fi.

Madison Avenue might be willing to place commercials it swiped from Bill O'Reilly back in his time slot, now that someone else is going to anchor it.

Author Stephen King tweeted: "New book by Fox News: Killing Bill O'Reilly".

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, File).

"The O'Reilly Factor" has been the most watched programme on Fox News and was coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Parent company 21st Century Fox said on Wednesday: "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".

It found that O'Reilly and Fox had reached settlements totaling $13 million with five women who had accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, only some of which had previously been reported publicly. The law firm also examined allegations against Ailes last summer, and he resigned within weeks.

Nonetheless, Will referenced Megyn Kelly's departure from the cabler in January, and he noted that Tucker Carlson was able to stabilize the numbers at 9 pm.

That certainly could happen, though it probably won't be easy. Fox News had no choice but to fire O'Reilly.

O'Reilly had appeared on the network for two decades.

Many observers believe it took an advertiser pullout to get 21st Century Fox executives to act as quickly as they did.

Nearly immediately after the announcement of O'Reilly's departure, Fox released its new, O'Reilly-less lineup, which will start Monday, the day O'Reilly had been scheduled to return from vacation.

Carlson usually benefits from O'Reilly's strong lead-in. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox ended Wednesday's trading on the Nasdaq down less than 1 percent at $30.39 and analysts said the network's viewers would likely remain loyal.

His departure will cost the network less than $100 million in annual ad sales, much lower than other analysts estimate, said Nomura senior analyst Anthony DiClemente. She also called on the company to release employees from mandatory arbitration and confidentiality clauses in their contracts. She quit the job - and the business - due to her treatment by O'Reilly, he said. Advertisers may have been reluctant to return if there were continuing harassment complaints. It could also have alienated employees. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster.

"Credit to James and Lachlan for doing the right thing here", said DiClemente, who noted that dealing with the O'Reilly controversy "in the right way" could be helpful for the Sky review.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC and CNBC.

Today, O'Reilly issued a statement on the end of his career at Fox while on a flight from Italy.

O'Reilly changed the cable news game by putting his point of view and personality ahead of reporting.

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