Bill O'Reilly to receive $36m pay out after Fox News exit

Bill O'Reilly, who has been ousted from his top-rated TV show on Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, will receive almost US$25 million (NZ$36m) for agreeing to leave the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

O'Reilly was one of the highest-paid TV show anchors, and this year struck a new deal that paid him between US$20 million to US$25 million, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

The new contract limited any payout to one year's salary rather than the total due for the full term, the person said.

The payout is less than the US$40 million 21st Century Fox Inc had to pay Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes to depart last year after he was accused of sexual harassment.

With one of the the most loyal audiences in TV, Fox News has maintained its lead in the ratings race despite an internal crisis that began last year when Ailes was accused of sexual harassment, leading to his ouster from the network he helped create.

The network has pummeled CNN and MSNBC in the ratings since the presidential election in November.

O'Reilly, 67, has been the most recognisable face of Fox News for much of its 21 years, meaning his exit will test viewer loyalty.

- Washington Post

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