As you likely know already, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been going through a bit of a rough time lately. In the wake of a New York Times expose detailing the millions of dollars O’Reilly’s paid to settle numerous sexual harassment allegations, advertisers have been fleeing his hit program, The O’Reilly Factor, in droves.
With Fox barely able to run any commercials on his latest broadcasts — his Thursday program was truncated and only 10 ads ran on Friday night — O’Reilly announced during Tuesday night’s show that he was taking a vacation. Of course, the conservative stalwart proclaimed that this was scheduled months ago, obviously trying to assure his audience that it has nothing to do with the Times story. Not one bit.
However, according to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, while a source at the network has told him that O’Reilly will be back on April 24th, multiple others state that Tuesday’s broadcast could be his last:
“But according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last. Lawyers for the law firm Paul, Weiss, hired last summer by 21st Century Fox to investigate Roger Ailes, are currently doing a “deep dive” investigation into O’Reilly’s behavior. They’re focused now on sexual harassment claims by O’Reilly guest Wendy Walsh after she reported her claims via the company’s anonymous hotline.
Fox News co-president Bill Shine has been working hard to keep O’Reilly, sources said. But O’Reilly’s future is in the hands of the Murdochs. “It’s up to the family,” the senior Fox News staffer said. The Murdochs are presently divided over how to handle it. Two highly-placed Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like O’Reilly to be permanently taken off the air, while his father Rupert and older brother Lachlan are more inclined to keep him. (A spokesperson for the Murdochs declined to comment.)”
Right around the same time the NYT piece hit, the network renewed O’Reilly’s contract. At the time it was announced he’d been re-upped, Fox News stated that it was aware of and had taken into account the latest allegations.