The popular TV host and commentator, Bill O’Reilly, finally exits Fox News according to reports. 21st Century Fox made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. O’Reilly has been the face of the network for nearly 20 years.

The company said in a statement, “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,” NBC News reported.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman who’s initially reluctant to fire O’Reilly, finally agreed to oust the iconic news anchor.

Sexual harassment claims

The recent chain of events came just two and a half weeks after the New York Times disclosed that O’Reilly settled claims of sexual harassment from five different women over the past few years. O’Reilly reportedly settled those claims for an amount of $13 million. He denied the claims and settlements were only made just to spare his children from any controversies. O’Reilly said that it was disheartening to part ways with the company over completely unfounded claims.

Recently, over 140,000 have signed a petition for Fox News to oust O’Reilly from the network. Protesters also picketed Fox’s headquarters in New York, while dozens of advertisers left the show.

O’Reilly’s replacement

O’Reilly’s abrupt exit from the networking giant leaves the company without the top-rated host in cable news. It was reported that Tucker Carlson would be O’Reilly’s replacement beginning Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Carlson has become one of Fox’s most important anchors, who only joined the network just three months ago.

Fox News’s “The Five,” an ensemble show which features a roundtable of hosts, will replace Carlson’s 9 p.m. slot.

O’Reilly has been on vacation since April 11, and his show’s viewership declined 21 percent during his absence. According to an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll, his favorability rating was also down 73 percent this week, compared to 80 percent from last week.

Fox News has faced backlash ever since its former chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes resigned a year ago over similar sexual harassment claims by several women. Ailes have denied all allegations against him. However, the network has never recovered from the controversy.

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