Bill O'Reilly forced out at Fox News

His abrupt and embarrassing ouster ends his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal. But the New York Times reported that two of the O'Reilly settlements were reached after Ailes left.

But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA and T. Rowe Price, pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's show.

So to mark O'Reilly's departure, "The Late Show" issued a statement from O'Reilly's biggest fan, Colbert's alter-ego "Stephen Colbert".

Laurie Luhn, a former Fox News booker, tells investigators of the Fox internal probe that she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years and that Fox News knew about it, according to New York Magazine.

Murdoch, who is executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, also wrote the company is committed to "fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect". In a statement, he called it "tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims". "He had the #1 cable news show for fifteen years, until today". NPR's David Folkenflik reports that Walsh went through Fox News' formal complaint process, alleging O'Reilly made unwelcome advances during what she believed to be a business dinner.

O'Reilly and President Donald Trump are both "crowd-pleasing showmen who know how to signal to loyalists in their audience that they are not taking themselves quite as seriously as their detractors are", said news consultant Andrew Tyndall. "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".

The comment came just hours after the network announced Wednesday O'Reilly would not return to his show in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. "That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

21st Century Fox and O'Reilly's representatives will not acknowledge the existence of a payout. "The O'Reilly Factor" has generated a huge ad bonanza for Fox, one that yielded more than $178 million in 2015.

"I'm not sure I see much evidence of that; otherwise, Judy Woodruff would be off the charts", he said, referring to the anchor of "PBS NewsHour".

  • Leroy Wright