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Bill O'Reilly to return with new podcast episode Monday

Bill O'Reilly is back and ready to talk.

His personal website says the former Fox News host will air a new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast Monday evening.

Fox News Channel's parent company fired O'Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations by women. O'Reilly has called the allegations completely unfounded.

For two decades, O'Reilly and his show "The O'Reilly Factor" had been the linchpin of Fox News' success as the most visible and most watched host. Many wondered what the future would hold for him.

O'Reilly's podcast episode will be available on his website to premium members at 7 p.m. EDT Monday.

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Online: https://www.billoreilly.com .

Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56

Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died. She was 56.

Moran was found dead Saturday by emergency responders after a dispatcher for the Harrison County, Indiana, sheriff's department received a 911 call, the department said. The cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy is pending.

A Burbank, California, native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in "Happy Days" as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard, who went on to become a successful filmmaker.

Her more recent credits included "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote," but she never approached the success of "Happy Days" and was more often in the news for her numerous personal and financial struggles and was reportedly homeless at times.

"Such sad sad news. RIP Erin," Howard tweeted Saturday. "I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens."

Other "Happy Days" cast members included Tom Bosley and Marion Ross as Joanie's parents and Henry Winkler as the loveable tough guy Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli.

"What happened with all of us was like we were this family," Moran told Xfinity in 2009. "It was so surreal with all the cast members. ... They were my family, get it?"

Debuting at a time of nostalgia for the seemingly innocent 1950s, the sitcom was set in Milwaukee and became a long-running hit. Howard and Winkler were the show's biggest stars, but the smiling, freckle-faced Moran also became popular.

In 1982, she was paired off with fellow "Happy Days" performer Scott Baio in the short-lived "Joanie Loves Chachi." Moran returned to "Happy Days" in 1984, the show's final season.

"I would love to do a feature (film), I'd love to do a play," she told CNN in 1981 when asked what she'd like to do after "Happy Days."

In 2011, she and Ross and former "Happy Days" actors Anson Williams and Donnie Most sued CBS, saying they were owed money for merchandising related to the show. The lawsuit was settled the following year.

Moran told Xfinity that she had been working on a memoir, called "Happy Days, Depressing Nights."

"OH Erin... now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth," Winkler tweeted Saturday. "Rest In It serenely now.. too soon."

Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56

Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," died Saturday at age 56.

A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined that Erin Moran Fleischmann was deceased. An autopsy is pending."

The dispatcher confirmed to The Associated Press that the woman was the actress, who had been married to Steven Fleischmann.

"Such sad sad news. RIP Erin," ''Happy Days" star Ron Howard tweeted Saturday. "I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens."

A Burbank, California, native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in "Happy Days" as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Howard. Other cast members included Tom Bosley and Marion Ross as Joanie's parents and Henry Winkler as the loveable tough guy Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli.

"What happened with all of us was like we were this family," she told Xfinity in 2009. "It was so surreal with all the cast members. ... They were my family, get it?"

Debuting at a time of nostalgia for the seemingly innocent 1950s, the sitcom was set in Milwaukee and became a long-running hit. Howard and Winkler were the show's biggest stars, but the smiling, freckle-faced Moran also became popular. In 1982, she was paired off with fellow "Happy Days" performer Scott Baio in the short-lived "Joanie Loves Chachi." Moran returned to "Happy Days" in 1984, the show's final season.

"I would love to do a feature (film), I'd love to do a play," she told CNN in 1981 when asked what she'd like to do after "Happy Days."

Her more recent credits included "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote," but she never approached the success of "Happy Days" and was more often in the news for her numerous personal and financial struggles and was reportedly homeless at times.

In 2011, she and Ross and former "Happy Days" actors Anson Williams and Donnie Most sued CBS, saying they were owed money for merchandising related to the show. The lawsuit was settled the following year.

Moran told Xfinity that she had been working on a memoir, called "Happy Days, Depressing Nights."

"OH Erin... now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth," Winkler tweeted Saturday. "Rest In It serenely now.. too soon."

'Happy Days' actress Erin Moran, 56, found dead in southern Indiana after authorities respond to 911 call

'Happy Days' actress Erin Moran, 56, found dead in southern Indiana after authorities respond to 911 call.

Reese Witherspoon speaks out against elephant poaching

Sparkly, exquisite diamonds were the draw but Reese Witherspoon's thoughts were with something much larger — elephants.

The Oscar-winning "Big Little Lies" star attended a party in New York on Friday night to celebrate Tiffany and Co. and said she backed the jewelry company's commitment to stop global trafficking and demand for elephant ivory.

"I've had the great opportunity to work with elephants in my career, and spend a lot of time in Africa with elephants. I love that they are doing so much for conservation, and helping save the elephants," said Witherspoon.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants are killed every year for their tusks. Last year, Tiffany & Co. partnered with the Elephant Crisis Fund to raise money to fight for the elephants.

"They provide a lot of information about what they're doing to ethically source diamonds, gold, and silver, so it's a very responsible brand; not only beautiful, but very responsible," Witherspoon said.

Fresh from a film shoot in South Africa, Dominic West also cheered the impact that the Elephant Crisis Fund has made on the poaching of elephant tusks. He just wished it would also apply to rhinoceroses. Poachers are also killing them for their horns. "Oh, they're killing thousands every year in South Africa. It's just appalling," he said.

Also attending the Tiffany event were Jennifer Hudson, Claire Danes, Haley Bennett and Ruth Negga.

As for "Big Little Lies," the HBO miniseries starring Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman that had its season finale earlier this month, Witherspoon said she was hopeful a second season would happen.

"We love playing these characters, and we loved being together with this great, extraordinary group of people, so hopefully it will happen. Fingers crossed," Witherspoon said.

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Follow John Carucci on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jacarucci

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Attorney General Jeff Sessions; California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

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NBC's "Meet the Press" — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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CBS' "Face the Nation" — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio.

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CNN's "State of the Union" — Kelly; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

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"Fox News Sunday" — White House budget director Mick Mulvaney; Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" — Attorney General Jeff Sessions; California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

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NBC's "Meet the Press" — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

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CBS' "Face the Nation" — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio.

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CNN's "State of the Union" — Kelly; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

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"Fox News Sunday" — White House budget director Mick Mulvaney; Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Bye-bye, and here's your check: Golden exit for the departed

Don't let the vault door hit you on the way out.

Getting forced out of a job is painful, but a couple (dozen) million dollars help salve the wound. The latest big name to get a big payment with a bye-bye from the boss is Bill O'Reilly. The longtime Fox News host is in line to get up to $25 million, according to media reports, after a string of sexual-harassment allegations led to his ouster.

He joins the long list of executives and bold-faced names who have grabbed handsome payouts that have become standard operating procedure for companies to hand out. The reasons for departure can range from the mundane, such as a CEO simply being ineffective in boosting the stock price, to the salacious, with accusations of improper behavior.

Here's a look at some other recent departures of big names and what they received as they exited, according to regulatory filings and media reports:

— Roger Ailes, Fox News, $40 million.

It was only last summer that the other man who helped build Fox News into a ratings behemoth had his own departure from the company following allegations of sexual harassment. Ailes was chairman and CEO of Fox News and, with O'Reilly as a high-profile host, pushed it to become the most-watched U.S. cable-news channel.

— Jeff Smisek, United Continental, $36.8 million.

The CEO atop United Airlines stepped down in 2015 amid an investigation into whether it flew a route between Newark, New Jersey, and Columbia, South Carolina, to curry favor with the chairman of the agency that operates New York-area airports. He received $4.9 million in cash severance, along with millions more in stock grants. He also received lifetime flight benefits.

— Marissa Mayer, Yahoo, $23 million.

The woman brought in to save the struggling internet giant may soon be on the way out after brokering a deal to break it up. Verizon is buying Yahoo's email service and other websites, and the deal is expected to close by the end of June. The remaining part of Yahoo, which is also the far more valuable one, will be turned over to a new company called Altbaba. If Mayer doesn't have a job afterward, she'll be in line to get a severance package, which was most recently valued at $23 million.

— Philippe Dauman, Viacom, $58 million.

The former CEO of the entertainment giant was pushed out last summer following a bitter battle for control of the company's board. The $58 million severance payment doesn't include millions more paid to Dauman in pro-rated bonus money, vested stock options and other awards.

— John Stumpf, Wells Fargo, zero.

When the CEO stepped down from the company last year as the uproar about its aggressive sales tactics echoed in Capitol Hill, the bank said he would receive no severance pay. The board also reclaimed millions of dollars in pay made to him.

Steve Irwin’s son, Robert, brings bear cubs to ‘The Tonight Show,’ cuteness ensues

Steve Irwin’s son, Robert Irwin, is following in his father’s footsteps as an animal lover extraordinaire.

On Thursday night, Robert appeared on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and the host brought out side-by-side pictures of Robert and his father. The resemblance was uncanny.

>> Read more trending news

Robert said, “When my mom first showed (the picture) to me, I thought it was me.”

Irwin was on the show to introduce Fallon and the audience to some animals. He unveiled a scorpion and shared a few fun facts. While Fallon was slightly skittish around the venomous creature, Irwin was all smiles.

Robert then switched gears and brought out a group of bear cubs, which an adoring reaction from the audience. While Fallon usually doesn’t seem to be too fond of animals, it seemed impossible to be frightened with Irwin around.

Watch a video of the segment below:

Retirement for O'Reilly? He'll have other options

Chances are you haven't heard the last of Bill O'Reilly. He'll have options, and retirement seems unlikely.

At least three conservative news outlets are eager to speak with him. O'Reilly, the top cable news personality for two decades until Fox News Channel fired him this week following harassment claims by women, would be a game-changer for any company trapped in Fox's shadow.

"He's an incredible, unparalleled, unchallenged talent and I would be very eager to discuss the possibility of him on Newsmax," said Chris Ruddy, CEO of the Florida-based media company. "I think he has been unfairly treated."

Another right-leaning outlet, One America News Network, has been inundated with emails from O'Reilly fans who want their hero back on television, said Robert Herring, Sr., the network's founder and CEO.

One America is currently in 35 million homes, while Newsmax's television operation is in 10 million. Fox, in 90 million homes, is the nation's most popular cable network, carried on most cable or satellite systems. Fox also commands fees commensurate with its status, squeezing out rivals since many carriers believe they don't need more than one news network appealing to conservatives.

O'Reilly's representatives had no comment Friday on his plans.

The 67-year-old host, despite his reported $25 million payout from Fox, doesn't seem ready for a rocking chair. He had just signed a contract extension to keep him on Fox into 2021. He drew an audience of 4 million viewers a night in the opening weeks of the Trump administration, his best ever. He's a fighter who continues to maintain the accusations against him are unfounded.

"He's been known for pushing back really hard," said CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, speaking Friday at Variety magazine's Power of Women event. "It will be interesting to see what Bill does next and what he says next about what all has transpired."

One thing seems certain: he won't be in a studio next to O'Donnell or any other mainstream media operation, including direct Fox rivals CNN and MSNBC. His image is too toxic.

"Who needs women protesting out in front of your building?" said one media executive, who spoke under condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak on personnel matters.

The accusations didn't seem to hurt O'Reilly with his fans. During his only full week on the air between The New York Times story detailing settlements reached with five women and his firing, O'Reilly's ratings went up.

Herring said he hadn't examined the validity of claims against O'Reilly.

"Clearly, Mr. O'Reilly should have the opportunity to address the accusations made against him," he said. "I also recognize anyone expressing a viewpoint can come under attack and Bill has been a big target for years due to his top-rated political talk show. From the top down, our organization doesn't tolerate discriminatory or inappropriate behavior of any kind. It's an open issue that would need to be vetted by any television organization, including One America News."

He said he believed O'Reilly has a future in television.

Ruddy said he believed Newsmax's populist leanings were a good match with O'Reilly's. The host essentially put Fox on the map, and has the opportunity to lead another media revolution with Newsmax's plans to establish itself as the go-to conservative stream for mobile devices, he said.

"In a lot of ways we would be a perfect fit for him," he said.

Ruddy and Herring said there hadn't been any discussions with O'Reilly's representatives. That's also the case with former Fox colleague Glenn Beck's network, The Blaze, but a spokesman said Beck would be interested in speaking to him. Beck spoke out strongly in O'Reilly's defense this week but it attracted little attention since it happened hours before O'Reilly's firing.

SiriusXM satellite radio simulcast "The O'Reilly Factor" along with other Fox News programming, but that ended with O'Reilly's TV show. O'Reilly had his own syndicated radio program that aired between 2002 and 2009.

His show did well, but wasn't nearly at the level of radio stars Rush Limbaugh and even Fox colleague Sean Hannity, said Michael Harrison, publisher of the radio trade publication Talkers. Limbaugh ruled radio but never translated to TV; the opposite was true with O'Reilly, Harrison said.

"He's made for TV, this guy, as opposed to radio," Harrison said. "He talks with his face."

The media is cluttered with people who can't give up the stage; Larry King has stayed on the air with little-noticed networks long after he was dropped by CNN.

"In O'Reilly's case, I'm sure he believes he's directly responsible for the Fox News Channel being successful, so why couldn't he do it somewhere else" Harrison said. "I believe he needs to be in the game."

O'Reilly is also expected to remain a force in publishing. He's one of the world's most dependable brands, routinely selling 1 million or more copies in hardcover alone. For the past few years, O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard have collaborated on their highly successful "Killing" series, nonfiction works about the deaths of historical figures ranging from Jesus to John F. Kennedy.

A new "Killing" book is scheduled for September, although the subject has not yet been announced. O'Reilly is under a multibook contract with publisher Henry Holt & Company, including for at least one more "Killing" book. Holt said Friday that no changes are planned.

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Associated Press reporters Alicia Rancilio and Hillel Italie in New York contributed to this report.

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