Entertainment

Bill O’Reilly Will Be Paid $25 Million In Fox News Exit

Bill O’Reilly will be walking away with a sizable sum of money following the termination of his Fox News contract after over 20 years at the network.

O’Reilly will be getting $25million from the network after being terminated in the wake of the latest Fox News sexual harassment scandal according to Matthew Garrahan of the Financial Times.

That is a quarter of the $100million he had been guaranteed in the four-year contract he signed this past January. 

The network previously paid disgraced CEO Roger Ailes $40million when he exited last July.

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O’Reilly’s name was unceremoniously erased from his own Fox News show on Wednesday night hours after he was fired over mounting sexual harassment claims.

Emotionless fill-in host Dana Perino, a close friend of Megyn Kelly, spent just over a minute bidding farewell to the man who hosted the show for 20 years.

Perino called O’Reilly the ‘undisputed king of Cable News’, as there was no sign that O’Reilly had once hosted, The Factor, when it aired at 8pm.

Furthermore, the network removed ‘O’Reilly’ out of the show’s title, as the opening graphic at the start of the show also referred to it as just The Factor.

The adjustments come hours after Rupert Murdoch announced that he was terminating the network’s most popular host in a letter on Wednesday afternoon that was signed by himself and his sons, Lachlan and James.

The move was so swift that O’Reilly only learned of it en route to the airport on Wednesday as he returned home to the United States following a week-long trip to Italy reports Vanity Fair.

Perino, who is a former White House Press Secretary, opened the show with a brief statement acknowledging that O’Reilly was leaving the network, but said she would discuss it later on in the show.

The 44-year-old political commentator addressed O’Reilly’s departure at the very end of the show for a few minutes in a prepared statement.

‘Finally tonight, it is the end of an era here at the Fox News Channel,’ she began.

‘As we mentioned earlier, Bill O’Reilly is leaving this chair and this network after more than 20 years.

‘Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news and for good reason.

‘He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere.

‘He has also held his staff to exacting standards in his quest to put the best possible program on the air and they are great.

‘And you his audience responded in record numbers making The Factor the number one cable news show for more than 16 years. You have also been loyal and we can’t tell you how much that means to everyone on The Factor.’

Perino then read from the statement released earlier from the Murdochs about O’Reilly’s departure.

According to a new report, insiders at the network say that ‘troubles at Fox news are only just beginning.’

Former Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers claimed that her former bosses refused to act on a complaint she filed against O’Reilly and that ousted CEO Roger Ailes told her that O’Reilly was a ‘jerk’ and that ‘he makes so much money there’s nothing I can do.’

Powers made the claims while appearing on CNN hours after O’Reilly was fired after 20 years at Fox News.

The USA Today columnist told Cooper that she complained about inappropriate comments O’Reilly allegedly made, but was told by then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes that he couldn’t do anything because O’Reilly made too much money for the channel.

She said that O’Reilly’s downfall at the network was ‘stunning because Bill O’Reilly was Fox News.

‘He had so much power there and it was sort of unthinkable that he would ever leave there except on his own terms.’

Fox News announced earlier Wednesday that it had parted ways with the longtime host after a ‘thorough and careful review of allegations against him.’

Dozens of advertisers ditched ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ after a New York Times report detailed $13 million in payouts to five women over his alleged abusive behavior; more allegations subsequently emerged.

O’Reilly has staunchly denied the accusations and released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying: ‘It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.’

‘Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television,’ O’Reilly said in the beginning of his statement.

‘It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.

‘I will always look back at my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers.

‘I wish only the best for Fox News channel.’

Fox News announced that starting on Monday, Tucker Carlson will move to 8pm, ‘The Five’ will move to 9pm and Sean Hannity will stay in his 10pm slot.

Eric Bolling will take over in the 5pm slot formerly occupied by The Five beginning on May 1, and Martha MacCallum will stay on in the 7pm hour.

The new lineup of ‘The Five’ will feature six hosts: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.

Both ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and ‘The Five’ will air live each night.

New York magazine reported earlier in the day on Wednesday that executives at Fox News were reportedly discussing the best way to sever ties with O’Reilly ahead of a 21st Century Fox board meeting on Thursday, during which O’Reilly is expected to be the primary talking point.

Fox News staffer reportedly felt that O’Reilly would be staying on last week, but Rupert is said to have had a change of heart after speaking with his two sons.

James had wanted O’Reilly out from the start while Lachlan was on the fence.

Lachlan then reportedly changed his mind on the matter when his wife Sarah convinced him that O’Reilly had to go.

This comes one day after a new accuser came forward to make sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly.

Several unnamed Fox News employees are preparing to file additional complaints against the network, according to their attorney Doug Wigdor. He said the allegations will ‘shed further light on the abhorrent, intolerable, and unlawful working conditions that our clients have been forced to endure.’

Wigdor told Dailymail.com on Wednesday that he expects to file ‘a handful’ of complaints against the network ‘in the coming days.’ He declined to comment on whether the specific allegations included sexual harassment.

In a press statement, Wigdor also rejected claims by O’Reilly’s attorney that the Fox News host is the target of a ‘smear campaign’ orchestrated by ‘far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly. Wigdor said he backed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and frequently watches Fox News.

‘I can categorically deny, and find it offensive, that my Firm is being accused of being controlled by far-left organizations,’ he said.

Wigdor is representing several current and former Fox News employees who are currently suing the network for racial discrimination.


By CHRIS SPARGO and REGINA F. GRAHAM FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

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