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

Ross Houston
April 22, 2017

Mr O'Reilly has been enmeshed in controversy since the start of this month after The New York Times reported five women were paid about $US13 million ($A17 million) in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about accusations of sexual harrassment.

The show had dealt with a wave of cancellations from advertisers in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against O'Reilly.

Furthermore, women inside Fox News questioned the company's commitment on maintaining a culture based on "trust and respect", as was promised when chairman Roger E. Ailes was ousted due to sexual harassment claims previous year, according to The New York Times.

Others figure that O'Reilly's firing won't be a sticking point for most Fox viewers.

21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, announced Wednesday that O'Reilly will not be returning to his position as host of the "The O'Reilly Factor", a political commentary program which had aired since 1996.

The decision to break with O'Reilly follows an investigation ordered by Fox into allegations of sexual impropriety.

"But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today", he said in a statement of the "tremendously disheartening" news. "21st Century Fox takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously", the company had said, adding that O'Reilly had denied the "merits of these claims". O'Reilly had one of the most loyal audiences on television, consistently placing him among the highest-rated cable news hosts over the course of its run. Replacing Carlson's show at 9 p.m. will be "The Five", also starting on April 24. "When I first saw Bill on TV, I knew in my heart that no one could possibly sustain such a broad character for that long".

Paul Janensch, a former newspaper editor and retired journalism professor at Quinnipiac University, said in the end it came down to money and the "paradox" that while ratings were up, advertisers were fleeing in their droves.

For the remainder of this week, "The O'Reilly Factor" will continue with guest hosts Dana Perino on Wednesday and Thursday night and Greg Gutfeld on Friday night. His No. 1 cable news show made about $178 million in advertising revenue in 2015.

But his denials didn't persuade Fox News chief Rupert Murdoch. The following is the full text of the internal memo that was sent to Fox News Channel employees on Wednesday: We'd like to address questions about Bill O'Reilly's future at Fox News. "A lot of women just don't talk about these things because if you make too much trouble, your career is over". As we mentioned earlier, Bill O'Reilly is leaving this chair and this network after more than 20 years.

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. And I said, well if you mean he's a neanderthal, then we're on the same page.

Dr Walsh told TODAY Extra she was invited to fly to NY to meet the host after she had appeared as a guest on the O'Reilly Factor from a Los Angeles studio.

Other reports by iNewsToday