After days of speculation, the ax has finally come down on long-time Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly.
In a statement, Fox News has said, “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 The New York Times.
O'Reilly is currently on a pre-scheduled vacation. His last show aired on April 11.
From an internal Fox News memo, reported on by Newsweek, 21st Century Fox chiefs Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan, have said that “this decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel, and that they ”have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on values of trust and respect.”
O'Reilly's removal from his post comes after two decades of working for the network. Recently, the anchor has been beleaguered with sexual harassment accusations, culminating with a recent New York Times piece revealing that $13 million had been paid to multiple women who had accused O'Reilly of harassment.
Since the scandal broke nearly two weeks ago, more than 50 of O'Reilly's sponsors have pulled their spots from his program, which had long been one of cable news's highest-rated programs.
For his part, O'Reilly has denied any wrongdoing and stayed relatively tight-lipped. His lawyer released a statement Tuesday night saying that all of the accusations against O'Reilly were part of a “smear campaign” facilitated by “far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons.”
O'Reilly's departure comes on the heels of quite a few other Fox News departures. Earlier this year Fox News lost Megyn Kelly, and just last summer then-chairman Roger Ailes was let go under circumstance similar to O'Reilly's.
Details on the new, post-O'Reilly era Fox News lineup are rolling out gradually.
UPDATE [4/19/17, 4:30 p.m. EST]:
Rupert Murdoch has released another statement regarding O'Reilly's departure from Fox News: