Fox's A-1 newscaster and host of the long-running show "The O'Reilly Factor" was dropped by 21st Century Fox after accusations of sexual harassment have been thrown towards him. Fox said that after an investigation on the alleged harassments, the Company and O'Reilly have agreed that the broadcaster will not be returning to his famous show.
CNN reported that O'Reilly's show was canceled amid a series of harassment allegations. It was previously reported that a large number of his sponsors pulled out from his show.
Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James made the announcement this week. O'Reilly said, "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." The action of the management shocked the television industry and Fox's own employees.
The trigger that caused the O'Reilly scandal was a report from the New York Times stating that Fox and the 67-year-old broadcaster paid $13 million as settlement for the five women complainants. Days after the news was publicized, advertisers removed their ads from the show.
The host of "The Bill O'Reilly Factor" claimed before that no complaint was filed against him at the HR department of Fox News. However, one complainant Wendy Walsh made a call to Fox's hotline way back in 2013 complaining about harassment and retaliatory behavior of O'Reilly.
This was to rebut the claim of the host that no complaint was made against him. Walsh and her lawyer Lisa Bloom publicized the phone call. The Murdochs responded to the call by asking a law firm to conduct an investigation. The result of the investigation was not revealed to the public but it was seen to have helped with the decision to drop O'Reilly.
Murdoch expressed in a letter praising their former employee for his accomplishments on the network. Then he added that they want to continue their commitment to establishing a working environment built on respect and trust. This is weightier compared to retaining O'Reilly in their company. Activists have been rallying for the ouster of the veteran employee.
According to People, Eric Schiffer, crisis/brand management expert, and CEO of a reputation management consultancy, the Fox asset employee will struggle with his reputation. Even if he creates his own show, his popularity will not make it viable.
Fox News has already announced the new schedules of the show. The Bill O'Reilly show is now called "The Factor."