Bill O'Reilly's Fox News days are over, and he thinks it's a sad sign of the times. In a statement issued after Fox announced that it was parting ways with the top-rated host amid sexual harassment allegations, O'Reilly said he was proud to have led "one of the most successful news programs in history," but he found it "tremendously disheartening" to part ways due to "completely unfounded claims." "But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today," said the O'Reilly Factor host. A roundup of coverage:
- Quartz breaks down what it calls 35 million reasons for firing O'Reilly: an ad boycott from at least 80 companies that spent an estimated $35 million advertising on his show last year.
- Sources tell Politico that the mood among Fox staffers is relief and surprise mixed with anger that it took so long for O'Reilly to be fired. The sources say O'Reilly was very unpopular among staffers compared to colleagues like Sean Hannity. "There won’t be anyone shedding tears about his departure," one insider says.
- Fox has done too little, too late in getting rid of a "serial harasser" who should have been fired long ago, Christine Emba writes in an op-ed at the Washington Post. "The decision was based on profit, plain and simple," she writes. "If keeping on a serial harasser had seemed more lucrative than letting him go, they would have done so."
- Adweek notes that The O'Reilly Factor was not only the No. 1 cable news show in the first quarter of this year, it delivered the most-watched quarter in cable news history.
- Sources tell Vanity Fair that O'Reilly could be in for a payout in the neighborhood of $40 million, similar to what Roger Ailes received after his departure in similar circumstances next year. The same sources say more women plan to come forward and other Fox anchors could soon follow O'Reilly and Ailes out the door.
- The New York Daily News reports that two "powerful" and "progressive" women played a key role in O'Reilly's exit: Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch, the wives of Fox execs Lachlan and James Murdoch—and the daughters-in-law of Rupert Murdoch.
- Mediaite reports that after O'Reilly's firing, USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers said Ailes had defended the host when she complained about him thanking her for her "blonde-ness." "And then Roger said ‘You know Bill. He likes to put up dirty pictures and ask pretty girls to talk about them," Powers said.
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