Stephen Colbert and 'Stephen Colbert' bid farewell to Bill O'Reilly

Two new women have com forward accusing Bill O'Reilly of harassment after news that the Fox News host has been fired. He said he wishes "only the best for Fox News Channel".

The downfall of Fox's most popular - and most lucrative - personality began with an April 1 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly, who continued to deny any wrongdoing in a statement hours after he was sacked. Fox News Channel announced Wednesday O'Reilly has immediately departed the network.

Last year, Carlson played a significant role in the resignation of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who was accused of sexually harassing dozens of women during his tenure.

Ailes, 76, launched the network in 1996 and oversaw its development into a high-ratings TV network and an effective PR platform for Republican politics.

The Murdoch sons decided they could not tolerate O'Reilly's reported behavior - problematic enough to pay settlement claims - after ousting Ailes and announcing that 21st Century Fox would be a more enlightened workplace.

In the midst of backlash over the allegations, O'Reilly left for a few weeks of vacation, which he said had been scheduled for months.

Wednesday's new denial by O'Reilly - calling the harassment claims unfounded - may be significant to potential business partners.

Marc Kasowitz, O'Reilly's lawyer, said in a statement that the television host "has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America".

In a memo to Fox staff, the Murdochs said the decision followed an extensive review done in collaboration with an outside counsel.

"You may not know this, but Bill O'Reilly was the biggest figure in the history of cable news", Noah explained, before launching a clip package of various ways in which O'Reilly argued white people are persecuted.

Not to mention, an insider told CNN that the political commentator and reps for the news channel have already "begun talking about an exit". On May 1, Eric Bolling, a co-host of "The Five", will debut an hourlong show in the 5 p.m. slot.

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

The consensus in the TV news industry is that losing O'Reilly's program - which averaged 3.98 million viewers in the first quarter of 2017 - could drive down ratings for the entire Fox News prime-time lineup by about 25 percent.

Off-camera unseen forces raged against him, culminating in Fox News Channel's admission today that O'Reilly is getting the boot.

And the value of an anchor like O'Reilly is not only in the audience for his time slot, but also the spillover effect for later shows.

NEW YORK (AP) — With its biggest star departing in another blowup over sexual harassment, Fox News faces some big challenges.

His show generated $178 million in advertising revenue in 2015, according to Kantar Media.

"I think Fox is going to be stunningly successful", says Schiffer.

  • Elsie Buchanan