(CBS) — After years as one of cable news’ biggest draws, Bill O’Reilly has been forced out at Fox News, following reports of multiple incidents of sexual harassment involving the anchor and female employees.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” according to a company memo signed by 21st Century Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, Lachlan and James.
The memo was posted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder on Wednesday afternoon.
O’Reilly’s departure comes after a New York Times investigation found that Fox paid up to $13 million to settle several sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly.
The women, the New York Times reported, either worked for the network or appeared on his show.
O’Reilly said the allegations lacked merit.
O’Reilly earned millions has host of the top-rated “The O’Reilly Factor”, which aired weeknights on Fox News. His value to the network, in terms of advertising dollars was estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, the Times reported. Since the report, dozens of advertisters have abandoned the show.
Just last year, the Murdochs outsted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes over his treatment of women at the network.
O’Reilly, 67, has been on vacation in Italy, where today he shook hands with Pope Francis. He had been with Fox since 1996.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, O’Reilly said, “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.”
According to another memo from Rupert Murdoch, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” will replace O’Reilly’s show at 7 p.m., Chicago time, starting April 24.