Fox News dumps Bill O'Reilly over harassment claims

Colbert went on to say that he and O'Reilly didn't see "eye to eye on anything", but that having him gone was a huge deal.

It also demonstrates the growing influence Lachlan and James Murdoch, no fans of O'Reilly's style of television, now have inside the 21 Century Fox organisation. O'Reilly could be totally innocent but when advertisers abandon ship, it's over.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). A poster featuring Bill O'Reilly is displayed at the News Corp. headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

In a statement Wednesday, the channel confirmed that the TV adaptation is in early development for 2019.

O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard are due to release another book in the "Killing" series in September, and a spokeswoman for publisher Henry Holt and Co. said that plans had not changed. "Fox News should have fired him in 2004 when (former Fox News producer) Andrea Mackris spoke out, but at least they did it now", she said.

Commentators said his dismissal marked a defining point for Fox, less than a year after Roger Ailes, the 76-year-old former executive who built up the channel, resigned under a haze of similarly damaging sexual harassment accusations.

Ruddy said he would want to know more about the issues surrounding O'Reilly's ouster from Fox.

In an interview with The New York Times, Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene claims that O'Reilly once made a comment about breaking her back while attorney Lisa Bloom announced that she is now representing Caroline Heldman. It had previously aired at 9 p.m.

Perino closed Wednesday's show saying: "It is the end of an era here at Fox News Channel".

Rounding out the Fox prime-time lineup, "Hannity" remains at 10 p.m. EDT.

Lisa Bloom, who represents three women accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment, called the announcement by Fox News a victory for victims who were courageous enough to come forward and hopes more will now do the same.

"After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Mr. O'Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel", the statement said. He went on vacation and was scheduled to return from vacation in Italy next Monday.

O'Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis.

It marks a stunning end to a near ideal marriage between a pugnacious personality and network. But the attention surrounding the accusations against O'Reilly - prompting protests outside Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan - would have made it hard for any advertiser to return to the program. Since then, another unnamed woman at Fox News came forward to accuse O'Reilly of sexual harassment this week. Dozens of his show's advertisers have fled following reports of harassment settlements paid to other women. Ailes has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper owned by the Murdochs, wrote that the company was preparing to cut ties with O'Reilly.

The ad revolt followed a recent scathing article in The New York Times that report that O'Reilly or the company made payouts totaling about $13 million to five woman involving allegations of inappropriate behavior by him over several years.

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