O'Reilly's departure creates new challenges for Fox

Carlson, a veteran who has hosted shows on CNN, MSNBC and PBS, had taken over for Megyn Kelly in January when she announced she was moving to NBC News. Is it because of his remarks about slaves being "well-fed?"

Bill O'Reilly will no longer appear on the Fox News Channel.

Right-wing misogynist Bill O'Reilly "will not be returning to the Fox News Channel", his parent company said Wednesday afternoon, following years of offensive commentary and what one media watchdog called "inaccurate and embellished reporting".

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 the accusations. However, it's interesting that Fox News' firing of Bill O'Reilly came only after advertisers began dropping from the show en masse, rather than after a total of five women accused him of sexual harassment. "Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity", he said in a statement to The New York Times. He still went ahead and signed a new contract with Fox, however.

The three also said they were confident in finding a successor and that the network would "continue to be a powerhouse in cable news". Now, those details may affect O'Reilly's exit negotiations. Apparently they made a decision to act even sooner - and apparently James and Lachlan Murdoch, who have reportedly lobbied for O'Reilly's dismissal, won out over their father, Fox top dog Rupert Murdoch, who favored keeping the embattled host.

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In a letter to 21st Century Fox employees, head honcho Rupert Murdoch said the decision comes following "an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel". "But that is the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today". It's the top-rated show on the No. 1 cable network - one that, according to the investment bank Nomura's estimates, accounts for fully 20 percent of profits at 21st Century Fox.

With another woman coming forward on Tuesday to accuse Mr O'Reilly of harassment, an attorney for the TV host dismissed those allegations as "an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr O'Reilly".

Tucker Carlson will replace O'Reilly in the 8 p.m. ET time slot. O'Reilly is on a two-week vacation that on Wednesday took him to Francis‚à "ô general audience in St. Peter‚à "ôs Square".

Ruddy, of Newsmax, said Wednesday, "I think Bill O'Reilly was the heart and soul of that network, and he has unparalleled and unchallenged talent".

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