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Bill O'Reilly Gets Given The Flick From Fox News

OVERNIGHT

Bill O'Reilly Gets Given The Flick From Fox News

(Image: Fox News)

21st Century Fox has parted ways with star cable news host Bill O'Reilly following allegations of sexual harassment, the company said on Wednesday.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the conservative network's parent said in a statement.

The decision, coming after advertisers had begun to flee his show, ends a more than 20-year career at Fox News for O'Reilly, a best-selling author as well as one of the most popular commentators on US television.

In an internal memo to Fox News employees, Rupert Murdoch called O'Reilly "one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news."

Murdoch also said that the company is committed to "fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect."

O'Reilly, who has been off the air on vacation since April 11, said in a written statement he was proud of the "unprecedented success" at Fox.

"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today," O'Reilly said.

He will be replaced in his prime-time lineup by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

The scandal began after the New York Times reported on April 1 that Fox and O'Reilly paid five women a total of $13 million ($A17 million) to settle harassment claims.

The five women who received settlements either worked for O'Reilly or appeared as guests on his program, according to the New York Times story.

O'Reilly said in a statement at the time that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy.

But after the 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.

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents some of O'Reilly's accusers, declared victory after the news.

"This is what happens when women speak our truth: we can slay dragons," she said.

"I am very proud to have stood with my brave clients who stood up for themselves and all the silenced women. Fox News should have fired him in 2004 when Andrea Mackris spoke out, but at least they did it now. They did it because we persisted."

Bloom also said there was a possibility of other accusers coming forward, calling for New York state authorities to continue to investigate Fox News for sexual and racial harassment no matter what happens with O'Reilly.

-AAP

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