On Wednesday afternoon, 21st Century Fox announced that it had parted ways with O'Reilly in the wake of allegations that he sexually harassed at least five women who either worked for the network or appeared on The O'Reilly Factor over the years.
The New York Daily News reports that two "powerful" and "progressive" women played a key role in O'Reilly's exit: Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch, the wives of Fox execs Lachlan and James Murdoch-and the daughters-in-law of Rupert Murdoch.
The fast-moving story took shape with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of 13 million dollars (£10 million) to keep quiet about unpleasant encounters with O'Reilly, who has denied any wrongdoing.
Colbert cited the Fox News statement, which said that "by ratings standards", O'Reilly was "one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news". Before and after the accusations, O'Reilly remained one of the most popular commentators on cable news.
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"What Rush Limbaugh was to talk radio, Bill O'Reilly has been to conservative television", said Mark Feldstein, communication professor at the University of Maryland. Following his ouster, O'Reilly maintained that the allegations against him were unfounded.
Still, O'Reilly's removal was a stunning decision, and one that could prove deeply unpopular with his strong following of Fox News viewers who buy his bestselling books and see him at live appearances on the road. The channel's majority owner is Fox News Channel parent company 21st Century Fox. "You have also been loyal and we can't tell you how much that means to everyone on The Factor". O'Reilly is no longer listed as a member of the Fox team online, and the former website for The O'Reilly Factor now redirects to a general Fox News page.
O'Reilly will be replaced in his prime-time lineup by Fox host Tucker Carlson.
Deadline reported that In FNC's Mediabuzz, Howard Kurtz said his bosses severed ties to O'Reilly "after mounting allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior prompted the network to end his program". No more silencing women!
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Up to four million viewers watched "The O'Reilly Factor" each evening, making it the most-watched cable TV program in 2016 and generating $446 million in ad revenues for Fox between 2014 and a year ago, according to a study carried out by Kantar Media.
"Afterwards, O'Reilly simply said "let's get out of here".
Henry Holt also has an untitled O'Reilly book scheduled for release in September. "I wasn't a fan of his", he said.
Powers said that she then went to O'Reilly's executive producer and said, "He needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I am not doing his show anymore". You failed Bill O'Reilly. "I can't believe this is still going on".
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But his attentions were primarily focused on the unveiling of Spaces, a new Beta app that has been developed for the Oculus Rift. If you haven't noticed the little camera on the top left hand side of your Facebook app maybe it's time you checked out it.
Eyes will now focus on O'Reilly's replacement.