21st Century stock rises after O'Reilly firing

Stephen Colbert

Years of sexual harassment allegations and settlements finally caught up to Bill O'Reilly Wednesday, when 21 {+s} t Century Fox parted ways with Fox News Channel's biggest star and the most popular personality on cable TV news.

"You better stand up now and figure out what's really happening with this O'Reilly thing or you're gonna lose Fox News", Beck told viewers of the channel during Wednesday's episode of The Glenn Beck Radio Program.

Following the Times story, Fox parent company 21st Century Fox said it had asked the same law firm that investigated Ailes to look into O'Reilly's behavior.

He questioned why they would terminate their partnership with Fox and O'Reilly but ignore the longstanding allegations against former President Bill Clinton.

It comes just months after Mr O'Reilly had agreed a new four-year contract worth $25m a year. "He let me off first, as gentlemen usually do", she said, "and I walked in front of him and as I was leaving the elevator, he said, 'Looking good there, girl.'" She described these moments as "embarrassing", "mortifying" and "street harassment in the office".

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He denied the accusations, but the shield that Fox News had given him under Roger Ailes, its former chief executive, did not last under its new management. He helped build Fox News into a $1-billion-a-year operation and the most successful cable news channel. Exactly two weeks later, O'Reilly was dismissed. "At one point, no one even came close - because they were afraid he might sexually harass them". Dealing with charges of sexual harassment at Fox News would have complicated the company's efforts to secure approval for that deal.

"The O'Reilly Factor" finished 2016 as the most-watched show in cable news and O'Reilly has dominated competition for almost two decades, finishing at No. 1 in all of cable news for 16 straight years.

"I'm very proud of any woman who stood up for herself in this situation and Mr. O'Reilly I think has no one to blame but himself for all of what has occurred". CNN's Brian Stelter reported on Thursday morning that the network was preparing to give O'Reilly a hefty buyout from his contract that could stretch into the "tens of millions". "And if you're a woman...you know, have a go at your front too", the conservative Colbert said straight-faced. "But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today", O'Reilly said in the statement.

This chain of action/reaction may be the new template to rid the workplace of famous and powerful sexual harassers.