Bill O’Reilly out at Fox News, denies wrongdoing; Tucker Carlson will take over timeslot

Bill O’Reilly is no longer with Fox News.

21st Century Fox issued a statement on O’Reilly’s departure, writing that the host “will not be returning” to the network:

Tucker Carlson will take over the 8 p.m. timeslot once occupied by O'Reilly starting Monday. Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld will continue to guest host in O'Reilly's absence on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The Five will move to the 9 p.m. slot. 

O'Reilly, in a statement obtained by The Washington Post Wednesday afternoon, again denied any wrongdoing.

He added that he was incredibly proud of his a 20-year career at Fox News.

“It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims," he said. “But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”

Wednesday afternoon, New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman reported O’Reilly’s run of more than two decades on the network would conclude before the host, 67, returns April 24 from an Italian vacation. Executives, Sherman reports, held meetings Wednesday to discuss the terms of O’Reilly’s departure.

CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that O’Reilly’s lawyers and Fox News representatives were discussing O’Reilly’s leaving. Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch also owns the Wall Street Journal.

According to New York Magazine, negotiations regarding O'Reilly's departure were “moving quickly,” though a major issue was whether or not O’Reilly will be able to say goodbye to his audience, which he will not. Money is another sticking point. O’Reilly recently signed a multiyear contract at $20 million per year.

O’Reilly’s ouster at Fox News comes amid reports that the network paid upward of $13 million in exchange for silence from five women who had accused the host of sexual harassment. On Tuesday, another woman stepped forward with new allegations against O’Reilly dating to 2008. Since allegations began cropping up, more than 60 advertisers have dropped sponsorship of Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor.