Fox Fires Bill O’Reilly While He’s Still On Vacation
His replacement could start as early as Monday.
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It’s (reportedly) official. As of Wednesday morning, Fox News has decided to let go of Bill O’Reilly, following a series of sexual harassment allegations that embroiled the cable news host in controversy, New York magazine reports. O’Reilly has yet to return from his European vacation, but network executives told the magazine they plan on announcing the end of his 21-year career with Fox before he’s scheduled to return on April 24.
So far, it appears executives are moving to remove and replace O’Reilly as quickly as possible, with NBC News and New York magazine contributor Gabriel Sherman suggesting they could have a new host established as early as Monday. Who will replace O’Reilly has yet to be determined.
Hearing Fox News wants new host in place for Monday 8pm debut— Gabriel Sherman (@Gabriel Sherman) 1492620298
This decision comes from the Murdoch family (owners of Twenty-First Century Fox), who—according to sources who spoke with Sherman—pressured the news outlet to fire its highest-rated news host in light of the allegations against him. These same sources told Sherman of O’Reilly’s wishes to air a farewell episode to say goodbye to his followers, saying it’s very unlikely Fox News executives will grant the request.
While this is good news for those of us who don’t want to see reported sexual harassers on TV (or in the White House for that matter), the decision will require some finesse to execute, since O’Reilly recently renewed his contract to earn $20 million per year. Moving forward, Fox News executives still have plenty of work to do if they hope to correct the outlet’s notoriously sexist culture. Fox anchor Andrea Tantaros said in a lawsuit filed against the outlet, “Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” Firing Bill O’Reilly is a good start, but only time will tell how Fox intends to improve its workplace environment overall.