Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Ousting Draws Polarized Response on Twitter

Tonight: Mad Lib Theater With Kevin Spacey

Tonight: Mad Lib Theater With Kevin Spacey

NY magazine said that Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, who run Fox parent 21st Century Fox, had decided that O'Reilly was out and executives were planning the exit.

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

Bill O'Reilly may be officially leaving Fox News, but he is not departing the network quietly after many allegations against him.

Fox News is trying to ride out a scandal that erupted last summer, when the network's former reporter and talk show host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment suit against then-news director Roger Ailes, who ended up resigning last July. He pushed a populist, conservative-leaning point of view, and was quick to shout down those who disagreed with him. Shares in Twenty-First Century Fox were down less than 1 per cent at $30.50 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

In September, Greta Van Susteren, anchor of Fox News' On the Record since 2002, abruptly left the cable news channel.

Bill O'Reilly isn't hiding his displeasure at being forced out of Fox News.

In the statement at the time O'Reilly said that he had settled only to spare his children from the controversy.

21st Century Fox released a statement Wednesday morning, putting an end to several weeks worth of speculation about what O'Reilly's future at Fox News would be.

"You need to write and call Fox News Channel today and tell them, you can lose your advertisers or you can lose your viewers", Beck said on his radio show hours before the firing.

In addition to hosting "The Factor", O'Reilly has also written a series of historical narratives, including "Killing Jesus" and "Killing Lincoln", that have each sold more than 1 million copies in hardcover.

"The O'Reilly Factor" has been the most watched programme on Fox News and was coming off the highest-rated first quarter in its history, averaging 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Perino addressed O'Reilly's departure at the start and end of the show, but did not mention the reasons behind it.

Fox might also have found it financially risky let O'Reilly remain.

A group of women demonstrated outside Fox News' headquarters on Tuesday and another woman, who was a former clerical worker at Fox, called a harassment hotline to accuse the 21-year Fox veteran of inappropriate behavior.

The combative host, who has worked at Fox for 21 years, is now on what he called a "long-planned break" but had originally meant to return to his nightly show on April 24.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed O'Reilly was in the VIP section Wednesday.

Bill O'Reilly has been at the center of a firestorm of criticism in the aftermath of a story published earlier this month by The New York Times, which outlined his dubious past.

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