Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) stock was down 0.59% in late-day trading on Wednesday. It has been at the center of discussions due to Bill O'Reilly, a 21-year veteran at Fox News and its highest-paid talent, being accused of sexual assault.
The company announced Wednesday that O'Reilly will not be returning. The host is on a vacation in Italy and was slated to return on April 24.
"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," said the company. The former host is accused of paying out millions to multiple women who have claimed he sexually harassed them.
O'Reilly's divorce is also in the spotlight, according to the DailyMail.com. The paper alleges that O'Reilly is fighting with the courts to keep his divorce documents sealed. O'Reilly was the center of a 2011 divorce where he won a judgment against his ex for $14 million on the basis that she made false representations during their divorce.
Reports emerged early Wednesday that executives at Fox held emergency meetings to discuss how to let go of O'Reilly. The host's ratings have climbed since the allegations began, and executives were reportedly discussing whether O'Reilly would be given the opportunity to say goodbye to his viewers.
There's also the potential that O'Reilly will be paid the remainder of the $20 million per year contract he recently signed. The station paid $40 million of Roger Ailes' contract, the entire remaining amount, when he left the station a year prior.
The station is working toward a smooth transition with hope of having a replacement as early as Monday.
Fox has been discussing what to do with O'Reilly since the allegations against him began. The host's ratings have been up since the allegations, making the decision to let him go even more difficult.
Fox's stock has been resilient since accusations against O'Reilly surfaced. The company's stock has outperformed its rivals over the past six months, including Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX).
The allegations surrounding the company's biggest star have done little to harm the company's stock, down just 0.31% in the trailing 30-day period. The company's stock is up over 2% in the last 90 days and 25% since September.
The announcement that O'Reilly was being let go from his contract caused the company's stock to fall in late-day trade.
There's also the potential that Fox and O'Reilly paid $13 million in settlements to five women or more who claimed sexual harassment against the host.
Disclosure: Writer has no stake in the mentioned companies.
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About the author:
Jacob Maslow is a writer and marketing specialist who began his career as a payroll manager. The same affinity for numbers that originally led him to an early career in accounting now comes in handy when it comes to understanding and working with marketing analytics.
A native of New York, Maslow is now based in the Middle East, where he lives with his wife and five children and provides high-quality services to clients in a variety of industries, including the legal, medical and financial sectors.
In addition to his marketing and consulting work, Maslow has founded a variety of news websites, including Legal Scoops and Daily Forex Report. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications including business.com and business2community.com.