The ouster of Bill O’Reilly, the top-rated cable news host, from Fox News capped an extraordinary period of upheaval at the company, marked by a series of sexual harassment allegations that resulted in the downfall of Roger E. Ailes, the network chairman, as well as a damaging exodus of advertisers. Here is a look at the 9 1/2 months that shook the network:
JULY 6, 2016
Carlson Sues Ailes
Gretchen Carlson, a prominent Fox anchor, sends shock waves through the media world when she files a lawsuit against Ailes, accusing him of forcing her out after she refused his sexual advances.
JULY 20, 2016
The law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, hired by 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox News, takes statements from at least six women who described inappropriate behavior by Ailes, according to people briefed on the inquiry.
JULY 21, 2016
Ailes Is Forced Out
Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who started Fox News with Ailes, tells stunned employees that Ailes is out as chairman and chief executive, and that Murdoch himself would be taking over Fox News in the interim.
AUG. 12, 2016
Ailes Deputies Promoted
Despite Murdoch’s pledges of a fresh start at the network, two veteran executives with deep ties to Ailes are named co-presidents of Fox News.
SEPT. 6, 2016
Carlson Reaches a Settlement
21st Century Fox spends $20 million to settle Carlson’s lawsuit. Specialists in employment law describe the payout as among the largest known settlements for a single-plaintiff sexual harassment suit.
JAN. 3, 2017
Megyn Kelly Leaves Fox News
The anchor leaves months after releasing a book in which she described being sexually harassed by Ailes. Her exit is announced on the day the network runs a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal featuring her picture. Kelly now works for NBC News.
APRIL 1, 2017
An investigation by The New York Times reveals that five women received payouts totaling about $13 million from O’Reilly or the company in exchange for not pursuing litigation or speaking about accusations of sexual harassment against him.
APRIL 6, 2017
After a groundswell of anger, fueled by social media, over the revelation of the harassment suits against O’Reilly, more than 50 companies pull their ads from his top-rated program, “The O’Reilly Factor.”
APRIL 19, 2017
O’Reilly is ousted
In a one-sentence statement, 21st Century Fox announces that O’Reilly will not be returning to Fox News, ending his two-decade reign as one of the most influential commentators in television. The move comes amid new allegations against him.