Bill O'Reilly ousted from Fox News amid harassment allegations

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The confirmation comes hours after NY magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported that the top executives of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, have made a decision to fire O'Reilly from his show, "The O'Reilly Factor", and are going over a list of replacements.

O'Reilly remained defiant, calling it "disheartening" that he was pushed out of the network "due to completely unfounded claims".

"But that is the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today".

The 67-year-old's long-running show was the most-watched cable news program in the United States, averaging around 4 million viewers.

She said O'Reilly "got Margaret's name wrong and Margaret said, 'Hey, get my name right.' And he said, 'Oh, I'm sorry there's a lot of blonds in this operation, I can't keep you all straight, Megyn Kelly is coming up.' He starts throwing all these blonde names".

The "Late Show" host, who largely based his "Colbert Report" conservative pundit persona on the former Fox News anchor, kicked off Wednesday's show by devoting much of his opening monologue to the news of O'Reilly's ouster from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations.

The announcement followed growing reports that the corporation headed by Rupert Murdoch meant to sack the veteran host and just hours after the right-wing television personality was photographed shaking hands with Pope Francis in Rome.

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O'Reilly has been on vacation and was last seen on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Tuesday, April 11, during when he announced his two week hiatus.

The announcement comes at hard time for Fox News, whose former chairman Roger Ailes resigned previous year after a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Deadline reported that In FNC's Mediabuzz, Howard Kurtz said his bosses severed ties to O'Reilly "after mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior prompted the network to end his program". His own 9 p.m. slot will be replaced by The Five, a show that hosts a roundtable of commentators on different issues.

Now, the top ratings for O'Reilly's time slot - and Fox's other prime-time shows - could be at risk.

Scores of companies yanked advertising from his show, the most popular in United States cable news watched on average by 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek. "Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. 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. "This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O'Reilly for political and financial reasons". Bolling also showed a 16 percent drop from O'Reilly a week earlier, and he reached 3.11 million viewers. And then he said, 'What am I going to do?

Stephen Colbert quipped, "Say what you will, but Bill O'Reilly always had your back".

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