Bill O'Reilly has been ousted from Fox News Channel after dozens of advertisers fled his show, The O'Reilly Factor, which was the highest-rated in cable news, in the wake of a New York Times report early this month that said Fox and O'Reilly had paid out $13 million to five women to settle claims of harassment and sexual misconduct against him. The network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced yesterday (April 19th): "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." O'Reilly, who has been out on vacation and was due to return next week, released a statement in which he said, in part, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today."
On Fox's 8 p.m. show last night, which had been O'Reilly' slot, the logo had been changed from The O'Reilly Factor, to The Factor. Guest host Dana Perino said at the start of the show: "Before we get to the other big stories of the day, we want to address the situation many of you may already be aware of. Bill O'Reilly, who hosted this program for 20 years is leaving the Fox News Channel. We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this." She also addressed it at the end of the show, calling it "the end of an era," and praising O'Reilly as, quote, "the undisputed king of cable news" and "an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere."