By Joe Concha - 04-22-17 09:04 AM EDT
Greg Gutfeld closed the curtain on Fox News's "The Factor" Friday night as the program that has existed for 20 years under former host Bill O'Reilly officially went off the air.
Fox News cut ties with O'Reilly earlier this week in the wake of sexual harassment charges that had led 90 advertisers to leave his program.
It was a stunning development given O'Reilly's long career at Fox, where he had been the network's biggest star for years.
O'Reilly himself did not get a chance to say goodbye to his viewers, as he was on vacation when the decision was made to end his relationship with Fox.
Gutfeld said that even as those at the program looked forward to "new beginnings," it was a "sad day."
"Some of the people on the Factor staff have been here from the very beginning helping Bill O'Reilly create something that had never been done before," he said. "In the 20 years since the Factor has been on the air, Bill changed the way news is done, and his show became a sanctuary for you, our loyal viewers, who are not being well-served by the mainstream media."
Gutfeld said it was impossible for him to truly turn the lights out on a show synonymous with O'Reilly.
"How do I turn out the lights on such a venerable and amazing show? I can't. It's not my show and it's not my place. So on behalf of all of us on the Factor, good night and godspeed."
The end for O'Reilly began when The New York Times reported on April 1 that five women were paid $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims against the host.
Tucker Carlson will take over the 8 p.m. slot in O'Reilly's place starting Monday, moving from his 9 p.m. slot. His debut will feature an interview with TV personality and author Caitlyn Jenner.
"The O'Reilly Factor" has been the most-watched cable news show for the past 15 years.
But Carlson has been a ratings juggernaut at Fox in prime time since moving into primetime, helping make the decision for Fox News brass to move his program to the critical 8 p.m. slot easier.
Taking over at 9 p.m. will be "The Five," a panel show with six rotating co-hosts: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.
Sean Hannity will remain in his 10 p.m. timeslot.