The Murdoch family, which runs Fox News, is reportedly "leaning toward announcing that [Bill O'Reilly] will not return to air," New York's Gabriel Sherman has learned. O'Reilly has been on "vacation" since soon after reports broke that Fox News and O'Reilly paid around $13 million to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse accusations made by five women since 2002.
Since the initial reports, Fox News has been plagued by advertisers yanking money from spots airing during O'Reilly's show, The O'Reilly Factor. Earlier, Sherman reported that Fox News co-president Bill Shine is pressing to keep O'Reilly — who is the network's biggest ratings draw — while 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wants him gone. Rupert Murdoch reportedly leans toward keeping O'Reilly, while James' brother Lachlan thinks the longtime anchor needs to go.
As for things at Fox: "Morale is awful," one female executive told Sherman. "There's been no word from management to calm the masses."
The Murdochs removed former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes last summer in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. Read Sherman's full scoop here and read Jeff Spross' breakdown of what Fox News could win — or lose — by dropping O'Reilly at The Week.