Stephen Colbert Says Farewell to Bill O'Reilly With 'Colbert Report' Character

Following the New York Times' report on April 1 that five women received settlements after accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, Fox covered it only once: a brief mention on Kurtz's weekly media criticism program the day after the story was published. 21st Century Fox let the host go after having paid out 5 cases of sexual harassment against the host.

And within Fox, the network's superstar, Megyn Kelly, was joining the battle, though she did so quietly.

Up to four million viewers watched "The O'Reilly Factor" each evening, making it the most-watched cable TV program in 2016.

That certainly could happen, though it probably won't be easy.

Representatives for 21st Century Fox and O'Reilly did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Greene's allegations. On average, the show drew almost four million viewers per night, making it one of the most popular cable news shows in America.

His show generated 178 million dollars (£140m) in advertising revenue in 2015, according to Kantar Media. Carlson's settlement was for $20 million, and Fox News issued a public apology to Carlson. In a statement from O'Reilly he expressed his gratitude to the fans of his show among other things.

Those are two of the outstanding questions now that Fox News has canceled "The O'Reilly Factor". Even if there's some disruption in ad rates or spots, he said, there's a "massive backstop" in those payments, which are long-term deals. That's why I think it's important to give a lot of credit to [former Fox News anchor] Gretchen Carlson for coming out and really being the person who started this conversation. Advertisers may have been reluctant to return if there were continuing harassment complaints.

Many observers believe it took an advertiser pullout to get 21st Century Fox executives to act as quickly as they did. His departure is a significant blow to the Fox News lineup, which dominated the prime-time cable news ratings.

It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered. The Murdochs lost out on that deal five years ago after the company was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal and may not have wanted to leave anything to chance this time around. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal.

"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in the memo. Rupert Murdoch has a long association with O'Reilly, who joined Fox News when it launched as an upstart competitor to CNN in 1996.

Kurtz had filed a story on Fox's website earlier in the afternoon, but it didn't get mentioned on-air until he appeared Wednesday.

She said she was prepared to deal with the backlash from speaking out against O'Reilly order to make work "less toxic for our children".

Powers said that after the incident she went to O'Reilly's executive producer and said, "He needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I am not doing his show anymore".

  • Salvatore Jensen