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Bill O'Reilly Leaves Fox News, Tucker Carlson Takes His Slot

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Long-time Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly has been dumped by the network amid new revelations about lawsuits and cash settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment of women by O'Reilly.

The announcement comes at hard time for Fox News, whose former chairman Roger Ailes resigned a year ago after a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. Its leading female star, Megyn Kelly, decamped for NBC in January. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel", the statement added.

Bill O'Reilly's old time slot on Fox News had a new look and a new name on Wednesday night, hours after his departure was announced. But Fox said Wednesday that wouldn't happen.

O'Reilly, 67, has been an anchor at Fox News since he started at the network in 1996. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than 1 percent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

Powers said that after the incident she went to O'Reilly's executive producer and said, "He needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I am not doing his show anymore".

O'Reilly's "Killing" historical series, including "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Reagan", have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover, a rare achievement in publishing, and his platform on Fox enabled him to promote his work.

Eyes will now focus on O'Reilly's replacement. Even if there's some disruption in ad rates or spots, he said, there's a "massive backstop" in those payments, which are long-term deals.

While O'Reilly hasn't responded publicly to the latest allegation, he has said generally that the allegations against him are completely "unfounded". "It will be harder for him to reach the same number of people". Advertisers may have been reluctant to return if there were continuing harassment complaints. The sons had no desire to keep making payments or excuses for inappropriate behavior by employees who represented the Fox brand, which also extends to entertainment and movies.

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"Afterwards, O'Reilly simply said "let's get out of here". The Murdochs lost out on that deal five years ago after the company was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal and may not have wanted to leave anything to chance this time around. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster.

"About three weeks after appearing on his show, I received an email ... asking if I would after dinner with him", Dr Walsh said.

A 21st Century Fox representative declined to comment on the meeting.

Built by Australian-born American media baron Rupert Murdoch two decades ago into the leading cable news channel, it has drawn praise from conservatives and vitriol from liberals.

"Mission accomplished", said Keith Olbermann, who frequently tweaked O'Reilly on an MSNBC show that competed in the same time slot for several years.

The group Media Matters for America, which is a vociferous critic of Fox News, said today that its efforts to organize an advertiser boycott of O'Reilly's show were legitimate.

It is not known what words were exchanged between O'Reilly and Francis.

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