Bill O'Reilly's statement following his firing from Fox News

O'Reilly's departure from Fox News marks the end of a run at the network that began in 1996.

O'Reilly announced he was taking a break from his long-running show on 11 April (17).

Scores of companies yanked advertising from his show, the most popular in USA cable news watched on average by 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek.

Following the Times story, 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior. The channel said it was focusing on presenting its 2018 programming to advertisers and wasn't making decisions beyond that for now.

The National Geographic channel has aired a series of adaptations of O'Reilly books, including "Killing Reagan" and "Killing Kennedy".

Fox News is parting ways with Bill O'Reilly, who for years stood as one of cable news' most popular hosts.

O'Reilly's departure was precipitated by a New York Times report earlier this month that O'Reilly, Fox and 21st Century Fox had reached settlements totaling $13 million with five women who had accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.

The embattled primetime host is widely disliked at Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox, both feared and loathed for his outsized ego and rude temperament, according to six current and former high-ranking sources at the company. He thanked his viewers and noted the success Fox had achieved. Conservative personality Glenn Beck - who once lost a job at Fox because a similar campaign choked his program of paying advertisers - came to O'Reilly's defense on his radio show.

He will be replaced in the prime-time lineup by Fox host Tucker Carlson. Next week, "Special Report with Bret Baier" will fill the 5-to-7-p.m. timeslot.

Of course it wasn't ratings that led to O'Reilly's downfall, an unceremonious exit unparalleled in an industry where a TV news host's rise and fall is inextricably tied to viewership. Finally, Bill was let go from Fox on April 19.

He had been scheduled to return from a vacation next Monday. The network is not reliant on specific personalities, he argued. As the network prepares for a future without O'Reilly, the question is whether its most popular host is similarly expendable or uncommonly hard to replace.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed O'Reilly was in the VIP section for the pope's Wednesday appearance.

Murdoch and his sons are now considering whether or not to get rid of O'Reilly due to the multiple accusations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse that have been directed at him over more than a decade. In addition, many brands pulled their ads from his show including BMW and Hyundai.

O'Reilly, denied a chance to say goodbye to his Fox viewers, did so via a statement.

Francis always swings by the VIP seats at the end of his audience for a quick round of handshakes.

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