On Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor, embattled host Bill O'Reilly announced that he is going on vacation.
Advertisers have been fleeing O'Reilly's show since The New York Times reported last week that he and Fox News paid $13 million to settle sexual harassment allegations against O'Reilly from five women since 2002. Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, has also hired a law firm to investigate a harassment complaint from onetime O'Reilly Factor regular Wendy Walsh. O'Reilly said on Tuesday's show that this vacation to an undisclosed location has been in the works since last fall, and a Fox News spokesman told New York's Gabriel Sherman that O'Reilly will return on April 24. Still, Sherman said, "according to four network sources, there's talk inside Fox News that tonight's show could be his last."
Fox News co-president Bill Shine is pressing to keep O'Reilly, the network's biggest ratings draw, according to Sherman's sources, while 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wants him gone; Rupert Murdoch reportedly leans toward keeping O'Reilly, as does James' brother Lachlan. "That dynamic — James pushing for swift action, while Rupert resists — played out last summer in the [Roger] Ailes scandal," Sherman notes. "James, of course, got his way with Ailes." O'Reilly wants viewers to guess where he's vacationing, but he promised, "I'll have a full report when I return." Stay tuned.