O'Reilly's departure creates new challenges for Fox

  • O'Reilly's departure creates new challenges for Fox

O'Reilly's departure creates new challenges for Fox

The New York Times reported on April 1 that Fox and O'Reilly, a 20-year veteran of the conservative cable network, paid five women a total of $13 million to settle harassment claims.

Bill O'Reilly has responded to news that he will not be returning to his top-rated Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly Factor", saying "it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims".

Following the Times story, 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior.

Even 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who has stood by O'Reilly amid recent revelations about sexual harassment allegations, does not have a close personal relationship with his star primetime host, several of these sources said.

"I think a lot of numbers are being overreported in terms of what the ad revenue is from O'Reilly's show", DiClemente told CNBC.

O'Reilly has been on holiday since 12 April, and was photographed shaking hands with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, although it was not clear whether the Pontiff knew who O'Reilly was.

Host Tucker Carlson will take over O'Reilly's 8 p.m. time slot next Monday.

Representatives at Fox News and its parent Twenty-First Century Fox Inc were not immediately available for comment. "The Factor" will continue until then, with guests hosts Dana Perino tonight and Thursday night and Greg Gutfeld on Friday night. Eric Bolling, who had been a co-host of "The Five", is taking the 5 p.m. hour by himself, though his new show will not debut until May 1. In the past four months, according to the New York Times, Carlson has replaced three mega-personalities at Fox News.

O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, was ousted following allegations of sexual harassment.

O'Reilly is now on an Italian vacation as the Murdoch family - the owners of the Fox empire - hash out the details.

"The O'Reilly Factor" has been the most watched program on Fox News and was coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

"If Fox News wants to signal that they're serious about addressing sexual harassment, they'll fire Bill Shine too. That's not going to bode well", Beck said.

Mr Burke, a former Fox News correspondent in Rome, denied having facilitated the tickets.

"Credit to James and Lachlan for doing the right thing here", said DiClemente, who noted that dealing with the O'Reilly controversy "in the right way" could be helpful for the Sky review.