Speed Reads

Bill O'Reilly Watch

Bill O'Reilly's ouster has shaken the Fox News newsroom, and more bombshells might be coming

Bill O'Reilly was on his way to the airport in Rome when he found out that 21st Century Fox was giving him the boot, Sarah Ellison reports at Vanity Fair, but back at Fox News headquarters in Manhattan, the firing hit like a bomb. "As shocking as the Roger Ailes fiasco may have been, and as surprising as Megyn Kelly's departure went down, Bill O'Reilly's sudden ouster has absolutely shaken the newsroom, according to multiple insiders," Ellison says. She explains how the decision, finalized during a day of top-level meetings, went down, and why it shook the newsroom so deeply:

The move to dethrone O'Reilly, once unimaginable, crystallized over the past week, as advertisers continued to flee his show, more women came forward, and, perhaps most important, Fox News management came to realize that there was no way to stem the possibility that more accusers might surface, anonymously or not, and that O'Reilly would be a liability for the company as long as he stayed on at the network. ... "There's more to come," one Fox News insider told me, suggesting that there are more women with stories of harassment who have not come forward publicly. This estimation was affirmed by two people who heard such stories directly. [Vanity Fair]

O'Reilly had been at Fox News since the beginning, and he was its first, biggest, and most iconic star. Ellison heard that his severance package "could be in the ballpark of the $40 million that Ailes received," while New York's Gabriel Sherman suggested it could be closer to the $20 million left in O'Reilly's newly signed contract. You can read more details at Vanity Fair, and watch Kirsten Powers telling Anderson Cooper below about her mixed experience working with O'Reilly at Fox News, and why he was "untouchable" — until he wasn't. Peter Weber