Bill O'Reilly fired from Fox News, hours after meeting Pope Francis

Yale Project on Climate Change Communications

Stephen Colbert spent almost a decade on The Colbert Report playing a satirical character based largely on Bill O'Reilly, so it's no surprise he had plenty to say about the O'Reilly Factor host's ouster from Fox News on Wednesday in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

The company said Wednesday that it had parted ways with longtime host Bill O'Reilly after a "thorough and careful review of allegations against him".

Rumors about O'Reilly's future at Fox began swirling once the New York Times published a report earlier this month that five women were paid $13 million to settle sexual harassment suits involving him.

Wednesday's new denial by O'Reilly - calling the harassment claims unfounded - may be significant to potential business partners.

On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox received an anonymous complaint against O'Reilly from a black female employee who claimed that the anchor had "leered" at her and referred to her as "Hot Chocolate" in 2008. So he went to Bill, came back, and said, 'No, he's not going to apologize.' So I went to my boss. His trip came as Fox News Channel's parent company 21st Century Fox is investigating sexual harassment allegations against him.

So I went to his executive producer and, I said he needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I'm not doing his show anymore. The report led to O'Reilly losing dozens of advertisers on his program, which has the highest ratings in cable news.

During an appearance on Fox News' newly-branded "The Factor", former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee use a poorly-timed analogy to describe Donald Trump's apparent inability to "get a fair shake from the media", comparing it with one's inability to "kiss a woman leaning away from you". The company is making "a pretty big statement" to that effect by dropping O'Reilly, said Hall, the American University professor.

O'Reilly had ruled the "no spin zone" on television with a quick smile and an even quicker temper.

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O'Reilly's "Killing" historical series, including "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Reagan", have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover, a rare achievement in publishing, and his platform on Fox enabled him to promote his work. Before the segment, the two discussed a bet they had made for dinner.

Bye Bill O'Reilly.hope you lose all of your money too!

Although O'Reilly is leaving the cable news network, his effect on TV news will endure.

But many of O'Reilly's fans took to social media to express their unhappiness at losing their hero.

A number of late night TV hosts, gleefully poked fun at O'Reilly's departure and Murdoch's statement.

A critical mass of Fox women-so many that they could not be ignored-soon joined her. Articles in New York magazine, The Washington Post, and the New York Times told their riveting, often disgusting, stories.

His book publishing partner, Henry Holt, said Wednesday that "our plans have not changed".

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