Fox News confirmed on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 that Bill O'Reilly will not return to the network on Monday as he had planned. That's because he has been replaced by Tucker Carlson. That is interesting because Carlson just replaced Megyn Kelly last January after she made her exit.

Contenders for vacant position

Carlson was not the only one considered for the vacant position. Laura Ingraham was also considered, along with Dana Perino and Eric Bolling who have filled in on "The O'Reilly Factor." Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld were contenders, but they were very low on the list.

If Kimberly Guilfoyle had been given the job, she would have brought some gender diversity to the news channel. Martha MacCallum is satisfied with where she is and wants to keep her daytime schedule.

Statement from Fox News

Fox News made a very brief one-sentence statement that after a thorough and careful review of the allegations against O'Reilly, he is not returning to his old job.

He hosted "The O'Reilly Factor" from 1996 to 2017. During that time, he was accused of sexual harassment by at least seven women who either worked for him or who appeared on his show. The New York Times reported on April 2 that the network and O'Reilly paid five of the seven women more than $13 million to settle their lawsuits.

In spite of the payments and his firing, the former host insisted he did nothing wrong.

Companies canceled their advertisements shortly after the report in the newspaper at the beginning of the month. Ironically, viewership increased for "The O'Reilly Factor." Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachiann, oversee 21st Century Fox and are said to agree with the firing of the 67-year-old political host.

They concluded that the firing was justified.

Statement from fired host

It has been reported that the network is not allowing O'Reilly to return to say good-bye to viewers who have watched him. Since the former host is not allowed to host one more show to say good-bye to viewers, he submitted a statement. He said in essence that he will always look back on his time at the network with great pride, and he thanked his viewers for the success of his show.

Before going on vacation, the political commentator made an announcement that his vacation had been planned since last year. When the news broke about O'Reilly's dismissal, he was at the Vatican being photographed shaking hands with Pope Francis.