NY magazine reported Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit. It could also have alienated employees.
"I understand how hard this has been for many of you", Rupert Murdoch said in a memo to Fox staff.
O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes, was ousted following sexual harassment claims.
O'Reilly said in a statement that "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims".
The network's parent company, entertainment giant 21st Century Fox, insisted that Fox News will weather the current storm, noting in a statement the "strength of its talent bench" and expressing "full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news".
Perino said at the top of the show that, "We know you, his loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about it".
Bill O'Reilly has been forced out of his position as a prime-time host at Fox News, the company said Wednesday, after the disclosure of settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him.
Embattled Fox News host Bill O'Reilly had a brief handshake with Pope Francis on Wednesday as sexual harassment allegations dog him at home. Its leading female star, Megyn Kelly, decamped for NBC in January.
"The Five" will jump from 5 p.m.to 9 p.m.
"Tucker Carlson Tonight" will take over O'Reilly's 8 p.m. time slot. Eastern time, followed by "Hannity".
"Fox News is a strong brand and the only game in town for millions of loyalists", Peyronnin said.
After backlash on social media and from celebrities, he blamed "far left loons" and "smear merchants" for misunderstanding him. Colbert then invited O'Reilly to come live in his and Jon Stewart's mountain cabin.
Fox News announced earlier Wednesday it was terminating O'Reilly, who reportedly has had to spend a total of $13 million to settle a number of sexual harassment lawsuits.
Fox News could have sustained the defections for a while as advertisers moved their spots into other programs.
Most people were not convinced about O'Reilly's innocence, and Hollywood took to Twitter to celebrate the news and once more shame the host for his alleged past behaviour.
O'Reilly recently signed a new employment contract with Fox, so he likely will be leaving the company with a generous payout.
The crisis has also threatened other aspects of the business at 21st Century Fox. The controversy at Fox News led to speculation that it could threaten British approval of the company's proposed $22.9 billion purchase of British pay-TV provider Sky. Since the Ailes scandal erupted, the company has continued to employ nearly all of the senior managers who were in charge when Ailes was allegedly harassing employees, including Bill Shine, now Fox's co-president.
It is said that managers are holding crisis meetings to debate how to break relationship country's highest-valued cable-news host without causing security injury to the channel network.
"You need to write and call Fox News Channel today and tell them, you can lose your advertisers or you can lose your viewers", Beck said on his radio show hours before the firing.
"Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench".