Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel after 20 years

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Fox News has made a decision to part ways with star cable news host Bill O'Reilly following allegations of sexual harassment, the company said.

O'Reilly's attorney said on Tuesday that the host was the target of a "smear campaign" funded by far-left advocacy groups.

"It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims", O'Reilly said.

Fox News has dropped one of its best-known presenters, Bill O'Reilly, following accusations of sexual harassment.

Anchor Dana Perino, filling in for O'Reilly during the 8 p.m. hour temporarily branded "The Factor", called it "the end of an era" and praised O'Reilly as "the undisputed king of cable news".

"He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raises the bar for interviewers everywhere", she said, thanking his many loyal viewers.

The network's parent company, entertainment giant 21st Century Fox, insisted that Fox News will weather the current storm, noting in a statement the "strength of its talent bench" and expressing "full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news".

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Fox and O'Reilly, a 20-year veteran of the conservative cable network, paid five women a total of $13 million to settle harassment claims.

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O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing. They drew sharp contrasts between O'Reilly and his fellow primetime hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, who they described as being friendly in person despite being polarizing on camera.

Despite the scandal, O'Reilly continued to attract viewers.

O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence.

The "Factor" was the hub of O'Reilly's business, but he has many other spokes, including a line of best-selling books and stage shows at theaters.

While O'Reilly's reported ouster in 2017 certainly reflects what should happen after one is repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by multiple women in the workplace, the fact that it took over a decade to occur is absolute travesty for women.

"This is what happens when women speak our truth - we can slay dragons", Bloom said. Such allegations drove Roger Ailes from the company. "That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

But after the New York Times report, advertisers including BMW of North America (BMWG.DE), Allstate Corp (ALL.N), French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi SA (SASY.PA) and T. Rowe Price (TROW.O), pulled their advertising from O'Reilly's show.

"Our plans have not changed", a spokeswoman said.

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