NEW YORK — Bill O’Reilly is done at Fox News, its parent company 21st Century Fox said 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,” the company said in a statement.
It was a move made after a New York Times story revealed the settlement payments that O’Reilly, Fox and 21st Century Fox paid to women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.
Last week, 21st Century Fox confirmed an outside law firm was investigating allegations against O’Reilly. The same firm — Paul, Weiss — played an instrumental role in the eventual resignation of Ailes last summer.
O’Reilly’s allies feel he has been unfairly demonized by his accusers and a biased news media.
His opponents, including some influential voices inside 21st Century Fox, feel O’Reilly has behaved badly over the years, that his behavior has been exposed and that it’s inappropriate for Fox News to continue his show.
O’Reilly issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:
“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. 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.”
“The O’Reilly Factor” is by far the highest-rated program on cable news. But most of O’Reilly’s advertisers abandoned the show in the wake of the Times’ story.