NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The Fox News Channel is moving on without Bill O’Reilly.
On Wednesday, the host of the top-rated “O’Reilly Factor” was fired amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment dating back to 2004. The network made its first comments on O’Reilly’s ouster during his former show Wednesday night after it was quickly renamed just “The Factor.”
“It is the end of an era here at Fox News Channel,” said host Dana Perino as she heaped praise on O’Reilly. “Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster, who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere.”
More than 50 major sponsors had pulled out of his show in recent weeks amid a new investigation into sexual and racial harassment claims against the 67-year old. It had been previously reported that Fox News and O’Reilly paid five women a total of $13 million to keep quiet about his alleged sexual harassment.
The parent company of Fox News Channel released a statement Wednesday announcing that “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that (he) will not be returning to the (Channel).”
In a statement from O’Reilly after his ouster, he maintained his innocence.
“It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. 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. I only wish the best for Fox News Channel.”
Wendy Walsh, a former Fox commentator, says she lost a chance for a job at the Fox Network after she rejected O’Reilly’s advances.
“Fox is doing what I think Fox should do, make a big public statement that women’s rights are more important than the bottom line,” said Walsh.
Conservative host Tucker Carlson will take over OReilly’s old time slot.