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Sherman writes: "The Murdochs have decided Bill O'Reilly's 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O'Reilly's departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him."

Bill O'Reilly. (photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Bill O'Reilly. (photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)


Fox News Has Decided Bill O'Reilly Has to Go

By Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine

19 April 17

 

he Murdochs have decided Bill O’Reilly’s 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.

Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Sources briefed on the discussions say O’Reilly’s exit negotiations are moving quickly. Right now, a key issue on the table is whether he would be allowed to say good-bye to his audience, perhaps the most loyal in all of cable (O’Reilly’s ratings have ticked up during the sexual-harassment allegations). Fox executives are leaning against allowing him to have a sign-off, sources say. The other main issue on the table is money. O’Reilly recently signed a new multiyear contract worth more than $20 million per year. When Roger Ailes left Fox News last summer, the Murdochs paid out $40 million, the remainder of his contract.

According to sources, Fox News wants the transition to be seamless. Executives are currently debating possible replacement hosts. Names that have been discussed include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, and Tucker Carlson, who would move from his successful 9 p.m. slot and create a need for a new host at that time. One source said Sean Hannity is happy at 10 p.m. and would not want to move. Network executives are hoping to have the new host in place by Monday.

The Murdochs’ decision to dump O’Reilly shocked many Fox News staffers I’ve spoken to in recent days. Late last week, the feeling inside the company was that Rupert Murdoch would prevail over his son James, who lobbied to jettison the embattled host. It’s still unclear exactly how the tide turned. According to one source, Lachlan Murdoch’s wife helped convince her husband that O’Reilly needed to go, which moved Lachlan into James’s corner. The source added that senior executives at other divisions within the Murdoch empire have complained that if O’Reilly’s allegations had happened to anyone else at their companies, that person would be gone already.

Spokespersons for 21st Century Fox and Fox News did not respond to requests for comment, nor did O’Reilly’s agent, Carole Cooper.

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+7 # PeacefulGarden 2017-04-19 14:24
Wow, I thought Bannon would be the first to get fired by Trump. It turns out it was O'Reilly.

Damn, 21 years of out-right shit on TV. It took them 21 years to figure out he was an idiot.

Well, I wonder who is next? Perhaps the entire Fox News staff? And perhaps they will replace him with Steve Bannon?
 
 
+20 # mashiguo 2017-04-19 19:06
They didn't figure out he was an idiot. They only figured out he was a liability.

Sadly, the dozens of women he humiliated is a far lesser crime than the hate and vitriol he seeded in the society at large.

Sadly, his release will not result in an improvement of anything. They will replace one scumbag with another and carry on with the same ol' same ol'.
 
 
+6 # Observer 47 2017-04-20 07:28
You've hit it on the head. O'Reilly's shoddy "journalism," his lies and misinformation over more than two decades, are not the reason he's being fired from a "news" operation. Not to minimize his crimes against women, but it's the height of irony that allegations that include the word, "sex" are what finally brought him down. Such is our skewed-priority U.S. culture.
 
 
+1 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-04-20 08:38
Idiot AND liability.
 
 
+19 # CDMR 2017-04-19 15:12
It is just good to see someone like O'Reily getting what he deserves. Now that he won't have FOX to protect him and pay off women he's abused, maybe he will be sued down to his last dollar. Finally. This is a good lesson to women who work for bosses like O'Reilly -- keep at it. You can beat the bastard sooner or later.
 
 
+17 # Wise woman 2017-04-19 17:02
Well, I did work for men like that back in the day so it's good news to see the tide has finally turned all these years later. Back then, all you could do was walk out on them which I did but then you couldn't use we them as a reference. I had to get creative about what I was doing during long "stretches of unemployment." I'm sure many women in my age bracket have similar horror stories. A sad commentary on boss men. A pox on O`Reilly and Ailes and all like them. I remember when Whoopie and Joy walked out on Bill. That's what we do. We walk out on these bums.
 
 
+10 # Time Traveller 2017-04-19 17:40
Fired his ass when he was at the top of his game... very impressive.
 
 
+4 # ktony 2017-04-19 20:38
He is an actor, an entertainer, whose run has ended. Now, there is surely a think tank or two which would provide a cushy billet for Billo the Clown.

Besides, he can always go on the comedy circuit.
 
 
+4 # Lannie 2017-04-20 00:10
Thank you, Wise woman. Exactly my experience too.
 
 
+2 # vicnada 2017-04-20 04:35
"...senior executives at other divisions within the Murdoch empire have complained that if O’Reilly’s allegations had happened to anyone else at their companies, that person would be gone already." Which begs the very sad capitalistic question: "Why should the Murdock keep their jobs?"
 
 
+4 # ericlipps 2017-04-20 04:48
So Fox is throwing O'Reilly over the side to avoid embarrassment?

Too late by many years. Fox IS an embarrassment.
 
 
+2 # vicnada 2017-04-20 04:53
Tucker Carlson? TUCKER CARLSON? Jon Stewart's got to be "graving" over about his role.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-04-20 06:44
Fox 2.0 = ?

It'd be nice to see some women with real power in the conservative movement. This might be an excellent vehicle for their voice. I've heard the male conservative perspective and I am unimpressed. Conservative women's voices are too little heard while conservative men are all too predictable, nasty little buggers who pinch little girls and then boss them around at Sunday services.

Sociologically more interesting are liberal men, who gave up their lock on power (thank you :^), and conservative women, who voluntarily stay under the thumbs of men-things who treat them like cr@p.

I have a dear friend from high school, a woman with a beautiful spirit and a warm heart, whose husband hits her once or twice a year, has done so in front of the kids (now grown but facing domestic violence issues of their own). SHE is the breadwinner -- but they're in Promise Keepers so HE, a gambler, determines how funds are spent. He's cut her off from all of us.

I don't know how conservative women buy the neanderthal bs. These aren't stupid women. These aren't weak women. Can this be ALL about abortion? I would like to see conservative women take over their movement.

I often think of Franklin's assessment of the process he'd just observed at the Constitutional Congress .. was the sun rising or setting .. and often feel the same, aghast at opinions I hear from other Americans .. but ultimately optimistic.

What did he see, what unites US?
 
 
+3 # futhark 2017-04-20 06:51
How long will it be before "The Killing of Bill O'Reilly" hits the bookstores?
 

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