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NEW YORK (AP) — Bill O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations.
21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday that "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."
He had been scheduled to return from a vacation next Monday. O'Reilly was photographed in Rome shaking Pope Francis' hand on Wednesday.
It marks a stunning end to a near-perfect marriage between a pugnacious personality and network. For two decades, O'Reilly has ruled the "no spin zone" with cable news' most popular show, and his ratings had never been higher.
In a memo to Fox staff on Wednesday, the Murdochs said the decision followed an extensive review done in collaboration with an outside counsel.
Fox said that Tucker Carlson's show would move to 8 p.m. to replace O'Reilly and that the panel talk show "The Five" would take Carlson's time slot at 9 p.m.
The fast-moving story took shape with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased. O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing.