O'Reilly, 67, hosted The O'Reilly Factor from 1996 until his termination this week - a run that included more than 5,000 episodes. His show drew a whopping 3.98 million viewers during the first quarter of 2017 - making it the most-watched cable news program in America.
"The real subtext to all this is that Roger Ailes, the founding chairman, the creative drive behind the success of Fox, was forced out last summer for sexual harassment".
A fairly new addition to the evening lineup, Tucker Carlson will slide into the 8 p.m. time slot in place of O'Reilly. Carlson's show had been moved earlier this year to replace "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly, another Fox News star who left for NBC in January. "When we look at data, at what programs people report watching, you just don't find people who watch Bill O'Reilly and nothing else on Fox", Cassino said.
"The O'Reilly Factor" spent 15 years as the highest-rated cable news show.
"The O'Reilly Factor" has been canceled amid a cloud of harassment allegations against the conservative broadcaster. It's now trying again, although a United Kingdom media regulator must certify that the combined company would be a "fit and proper" owner of the broadcaster.
O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence.More news: UN court rejects Ukraine request to block rebel funding
Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on O'Reilly's show, told the Times the cable TV anchor retracted a lucrative role as a Fox contributor after she rebuffed his sexual advances in 2013.
Twenty-First Century Fox has tapped the law firm Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which also looked into the allegations against Ailes, to investigate O'Reilly's conduct.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of MSNBC and CNBC.
"Most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect", the memo continues.
Overall, while O'Reilly's reported exit from Fox News certainly is a step in the right direction and means that at least advertisers see themselves as beholden to those who do not tolerate sexual harassment, it would be much more encouraging if O'Reilly had been let go years ago and if women's reports of sexual harassment were enough to ensure his ouster.
The six sources who spoke to CNNMoney described O'Reilly as mean and self-centered, and said he was widely disliked at the company. "It speaks to a company that has recognized that the best business decision for them is to end their relationship with Bill O'Reilly".