Fox News Channel Drops Bill O'Reilly
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK, NY - UPDATE: Bill O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations.
21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday that ``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. He had been scheduled to return from a vacation next Monday.
O'Reilly was photographed in Rome shaking Pope Francis' hand on Wednesday.
Fox News Channel says "Tucker Carlson Tonight" will begin airing an hour earlier to fill the time slot vacated by O'Reilly, Starting Monday, Carlson's show will be followed by "The Five," relocating from its afternoon slot.
The departed O'Reilly's "The Factor" will continue through this week with Dana Perino hosting Wednesday and Thursday night, and Greg Gutfield on Friday.
There was no immediate response from Bill O'Reilly's bosses Wednesday to escalating reports that the Fox News Channel personality will lose his job following accusations he had harassed women.
New York magazine reported Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper owned by the Murdochs, wrote that the company was preparing to cut ties with O'Reilly.
The New York Times reported April 2 that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, on vacation in Rome Wednesday, O'Reilly shook Pope Francis' hand.