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Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News in the wake of outrage concerning allegations he sexually harassed women at the network. In the past few weeks, dozens of advertisers dropped out of his program, The O’Reilly Factor.

In a statement this afternoon, 21st Century Fox announced the news. O’Reilly has been on vacation in Italy this week.

“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 statement reads. iMediaEthics received a copy of the statement from 21st Century Fox.

A few hours later, O’Reilly released a statement calling it “tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.”

O’Reilly had worked for Fox News for 21 years and was the “highest-rated cable-news host, New York Magazine noted.

The investigation into O’Reilly was announced shortly after the New York Times’ April 1 front-page story revealed O’Reilly and Fox News had spent $13 million settling lawsuits by five women over O’Reilly’s behavior. O’Reilly denied the allegations and claimed he only settled to “spare my children.”

“More than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show,” the Times noted, after its reporting.

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported a few hours before the official statement that “sources briefed on the discussions” told him the decision for O’Reilly to leave had been made.

iMediaEthics has written to O’Reilly’s lawyer for more information.

Days before the New York Times‘ report, O’Reilly apologized to Rep. Maxine Waters for mocking her hair. During an episode of Fox New’ Fox & Friends, he said he couldn’t pay attention to what she was saying because he was distracted by her “James Brown wig.”

In 2015, Mother Jones questioned O’Reilly’s war reporting for CBS News in the 1980s. Mother Jones’ report came just after NBC News’ Brian Williams was suspended and later demoted for exaggerating his war reporting history. O’Reilly and Fox News defended against the questions that he exaggerated. Media Matters also reported questions and concerns (more here.)

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In 2013, O’Reilly apologized for wrongly claiming Republicans and conservatives weren’t invited to attend the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In reality, no Republicans accepted invitations to attend.

In July, Fox News’ chairman and CEO Roger Ailes was ousted amidst growing accusations of and lawsuits alleging sexual harassment. In September, Fox News settled Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes and apologized.

CNN’s Brian Stelter noted that the news O’Reilly is out came “2 weeks to the day since Fox (via Paul, Weiss) commenced an investigation. Just like Ailes.”

Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News sent a memo to Fox News staffers after the news broke. Stelter tweeted a copy of it.

 

UPDATED: 4/19/2017 3:24 PM EST With more information.

UPDATED: 4/19/2017 5:07 PM EST With O’Reilly statement

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Bill O’Reilly Out at Fox News

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