Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News

Left Brent N. Clarke  FilmMagic right Michael Campanella both Getty Images                      Bill O'Reilly and Pope Francis

Left Brent N. Clarke FilmMagic right Michael Campanella both Getty Images Bill O'Reilly and Pope Francis

In an internal memo obtained by Business Insider, News Corp.

The removal of conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly from his top-rated Fox News show over allegations of sexual harassment "is an important next step to clean up Fox News and make it a respectful and professional work environment", says the attorney representing Gretchen Carlson in her harassment case against Roger Ailes-the network's founding President who left the company past year in a scenario that mirrors O'Reilly's departure. "Those two things mean the end of the conservative Fox as we know it or have known it".

"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 statement read. O'Reilly last hosted his show April 11, before taking what he called a preplanned vacation.

His ouster came after reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations.

NY magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported Wednesday morning that in negotiating his exit, O'Reilly asked for an opportunity to bid farewell to his loyal audience and that network executives were leaning toward granting his request.

In a statement of his own released later Wednesday afternoon, O'Reilly said, "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". But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. "When we look at data, at what programs people report watching, you just don't find people who watch Bill O'Reilly and nothing else on Fox", Cassino said.

Tucker Carlson will take over O'Reilly's 8 p.m.

O'Reilly has been an anchor at Fox News since he started at the network in 1996 and his show, The O'Reilly Factor, is the channel's top-rated programme, bringing in $147m (£188m) in advertising revenue in 2016, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media.

Fox News covered such stories as the congressional election in Georgia's 6th district, the shooting deaths of three white men at the hands of a black gunman in Fresno, Calif., and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks about strengthening economic partnerships with Saudi Arabia. Fox News had no choice but to fire O'Reilly. The company is making "a pretty big statement" to that effect by dropping O'Reilly, said Hall, the American University professor. Ousting O'Reilly, he said, "does not speak to a changed culture".

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