Fox News on Wednesday ended its association with Bill O’Reilly, the combative TV host and commentator who has ruled cable-news ratings for nearly two decades and was the signature figure in the network’s rise as a powerful political player. The conservative-leaning host’s downfall was swift and steep, set in motion less than three weeks ago by revelations of a string of sexual harassment complaints against him. The questions about his conduct represented yet another black eye

to Fox, which had dealt with a sexual harassment scandal involving its co-founder and then-chairman Roger Ailes, just last summer. “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,” 21st Century Fox, the channel’s parent company, said in a statement Wednesday. The ousted host stood by his earlier denials of the allegations in a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE