Fox News host Dana Perino was tasked with explaining to viewers of “The O’Reilly Factor” why Bill O’Reilly would not be returning to the network on Wednesday night, after the network cut ties with its biggest star amid sexual harassment allegations.
“It is the end of an era here at the Fox News Channel,” Perino said. “Bill O’Reilly is leaving this chair and this network after more than 20 years. Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news, and for good reason.”
Perino continued: “He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raise the bar for interviewers everywhere. He’s also held his staff to the exact same standards in his quest to put the best possible program on the air and they are they are great. And you, his audience, responded in record numbers, making ‘The Factor’ the No. 1 cable news show for more than 16 years.”
Fox News scrubbed O’Reilly’s name from the show, with graphics simply calling it “The Factor” as Perino filled in to host the show. There is presumably a large population of loyal O’Reilly fans that had no idea the longtime host wouldn’t return until Perino delivered the message.
“You have also been loyal and we can’t tell you how much that means to everyone on ‘The Factor,'” Perino said before reading a portion the memo the Murdoch family sent to staffers earlier on Wednesday.
“Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success, by any measure, is indisputable. We wish him the very best,” Perino said on behalf of the Murdoch family.
Perino, a former White House Press Secretary, is a co-host on “The Five,” which will move into primetime to occupy the 9 p.m. ET slot as “Tucker Carlson Tonight” shifts to O’Reilly’s old 8 p.m. ET timeslot starting on Monday.
Check out the video above.