In the wake of a mass advertiser exodus from his show, it looks increasingly like the end is nigh for Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. From NYMag:
Embattled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly announced tonight that he is taking a vacation. O’Reilly’s decision to go off the air in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal and advertiser boycott arguably has the appearance of a suspension, but O’Reilly worked to dispel that notion. He announced that he’d scheduled his trip “last fall” — well before the New York Times reported he paid $13 million to settle harassment claims. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed O’Reilly will return on April 24.
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.
More interestingly, O'Reilly's future seems to be in the hands in the Murdoch family -- and James Murdoch (largely seen as the most sane politically) is gunning for O'Reilly's complete removal. NYMag's report continued:
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.)
Given the fact that more than 60 advertisers dropped O’Reilly’s show and “The O’Reilly Factor” was forced to air over 10 minutes of extra editorial content to make up for the lack of advertising, it isn't clear how Fox can continue justifying his presence at the network. In the wake of Trump's election, tolerance for sexual harassment and misogyny is at an all time low and corporations are being held to account for their support of anyone deemed to be an offender. James Murdoch, an environmentalist and political moderate, clearly sees the writing on the wall and is attempting to drag his father's empire in the 21st century -- and that means giving nasty bullies and misogynists like O'Reilly the boot as quickly as possible.