Internal memo on Bill O'Reilly sent to Fox News employees

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The news, which comes after the New York Times revealed that O'Reilly and Fox had reached settlements totaling $13 million with five women who had accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, is not being received well by the host's legions of fans.

Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. He thanked his viewers and noted the success Fox had achieved.

He will be replaced in the prime-time lineup by Fox host Tucker Carlson.

Eric Bolling, now a host of "The Five", will get his own show airing during the 5 p.m. hour.

In the meantime, "Special Report with Bret Baier" will fill the 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. time slot next week.

His program will continue the rest of this week with guest hosts from "The Five": Perino tonight and Thursday and Gutfeld on Friday. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench.

Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox, said on April 9, after Walsh had called the hotline, that it was opening an investigation into O'Reilly's conduct.

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He had been scheduled to return from a holiday next Monday.

O'Reilly was on vacation in Rome Wednesday when the announcement was made. The network is not reliant on specific personalities, he argued.

However, more than 50 advertisers have distances themselves from O'Reilly's program in recent weeks. Advertisers who had left O'Reilly had instead been shifted to other shows on the network, lessening the damage to the channel's revenue.

But protesters in front of Fox News' New York headquarters felt differently. According to Variety, the number of national ads on O'Reilly's show dropped from an average of 33 in the month prior to the Times report to just seven on Friday, April 7. O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed O'Reilly was in the VIP section for the pope's Wednesday appearance.

Francis always swings by the VIP seats at the end of his audience for a quick round of handshakes.

O'Reilly's show has consistently topped the cable news ratings during his two-decade run at Fox News, and the firebrand conservative anchor had recently averaged almost 4 million nightly viewers in the first quarter of 2017.

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