Fox News host Bill O’Reilly announced a two week “vacation” amid a new sexual harassment claim and mass advertiser boycott, but many hope that it’s the beginning of the end for the pugnacious pundit.
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O’Reilly spokesperson Mark Fabiani told CNN Money that his vacation was planned since October, and O’Reilly usually takes time off around Easter, but the outlet notes that none of his previous vacations have lasted as long as this one.
A Fox News spokesperson says that the host of The O’Reilly Factor will return from a “pre-planned vacation” on April 24.
“Other than the vacation guest hosts, The Factor broadcast will remain unchanged until Mr. O’Reilly’s return post-vacation,” said Fabiani.
O’Reilly’s vacation comes off fresh sexual harassment allegations from Wendy Walsh, a former guest on the 67-year-old’s nightly show.
This is in addition to the $13 million the network and O’Reilly paid in settlements to five women who accused the host of sexual harassment or verbal abuse for over more than a decade.
So far over 70 advertisers have dropped the O’Reilly Factor after the sexual harassment claims were reported, including blue chip firms such as Mercedes, Glaxo-Smith Kline, BMW of North America and Lexus.
Meanwhile, Fox has asked the law firm Paul, Weiss to conduct an internal investigation into O’Reilly’s treatment of Walsh.
CNN reports that Fox News owner and Executive Chair Rupert Murdoch would like to keep O’Reilly on air as his show is the most popular show on the network (and cable news as a whole) while his son James Murdoch (who sees that he is costing the network scores of money in suits and lost revenue) wants him out.
SOURCE: CNN Money