Bill O'Reilly reacts to leaving Fox News; still denies harassment claims

The actual, real-life Colbert addressed O'Reilly's firing during the monologue of Wednesday night's Late Show and kindly uploaded it to Twitter so we could all get an advanced viewing.

His trip came as Fox News Channel's parent company 21st Century Fox is investigating sexual harassment allegations against him. 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 and called on viewers to pressure Fox, to no avail.

"I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers", O'Reilly said.

Fox News announced Wednesday in a statement that the now-former "O'Reilly Factor" host would not be returning from vacation in the wake of numerous sexual harassment allegations coming to light.

NY magazine reported Wednesday that executives were preparing to announce O'Reilly's departure before his return from Italy and were holding emergency meetings to discuss how to sever the relationship without damaging the network.

The Bill O'Reilly era at Fox News is over, but the controversy continues. O'Reilly - the network's signature talent who used his cable news fame to become a best-selling author, live tour attraction and TV producer - has been off the air since April 12.

"Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect", the 21st Century Fox email said Wednesday.

O'Reilly, who has been on holiday since April 11 and and was seen shaking hands with Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday, has strenuously denied the claims.

A Times report Tuesday also said that support of O'Reilly from the Murdoch family was waning, and that O'Reilly's fate at Fox News was supposed to be discussed at a board meeting on Thursday.

His departure is a significant blow to Fox News, which has dominated the prime-time cable news ratings in recent years.

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

Fox has lost multiple stars and executives in the past year.

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.

About two years later, Ms. Greene was making an appearance on Mr. O'Reilly's show.

Kelly was also one of the accusers and detailed Ailes' behaviour in her best-selling book, "Settle for More".

By Wednesday afternoon - one day after the unnamed woman told the press through her attorney, Lisa Bloom, about her experience - O'Reilly was out.

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