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Since the start of his vacation, Nielsen company figures show that, so far, viewers aren't as interested in "The O'Reilly Factor" without O'Reilly.

It marks a stunning end to a near ideal marriage between a pugnacious personality and network.

His ouster brings an end to his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.

The letter was signed by Fox News Channel Chairman Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and 21st Century Fox Co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch. A New York Times investigation published April 1 revealed O'Reilly and Fox News had settled with five women for a total of $13 million, while another woman recently came forward with allegations.

After the report advertisers including BMW of North America, Allstate Corp, French pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi, and T. Rowe Price, pulled their advertising from Mr O'Reilly's primetime "The O'Reilly Factor" show.

Both O'Reilly and Ailes have vehemently denied the allegations against them.

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The decision about what to do following the O'Reilly scandal is not expected to be an easy one. The 76-year-old had been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by more than 10 women.

Walsh alleged that O'Reilly never came through on a commitment to help her secure a job with Fox News after she turned down his invitation to a hotel room in 2013. "My phone is ringing off the hook". He's had the top-rated cable news show for 15 years and was a huge moneymaker for Fox News. That followed a Tuesday report from Wall Street Journal that Fox News was cutting ties with O'Reilly, 67.

"I just got an email from Bill a little while ago that said he's on his way home - he's been on vacation; he's been in Italy - and so he's on his way home", Beck told his audience Wednesday. Their sources report that names being tossed around to replace him include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson.

On Wednesday, he was seated in the VIP section, where a photographer from the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano snapped a photo of Francis reaching out to shake his hand. The former Republican strategist and aide to Richard Nixon founded the channel in 1996 and was instrumental in developing Fox News as the dominant voice for conservatism in the United States.

Bill O'Reilly is reportedly on his way out at Fox News Channel. "In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable".

CNN and MSNBC gave the news extensive coverage Wednesday afternoon while Fox News Channel focused on other stories.


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