By Margaret Hartmann NYMAG.COM
When Bill O’Reilly left for vacation on April 11, he stressed that the break was preplanned to counter the notion that it had something to do with the New York Times’ revelation that five women were paid $13 million to settle harassment claims against him. A week later, it looks increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever return to his show.
New York’s Gabriel Sherman reported on Tuesday afternoon that “the Murdochs are leaning toward announcing that O’Reilly will not return to the air,” according to three sources. Later that evening multiple outlets said support for O’Reilly is eroding within Fox News. Most notably, The Wall Street Journal — which is also owned by the Murdoch family — reported that Fox News is “preparing to cut ties” with the O’Reilly Factor host. The paper said 21st Century Fox is holding a board meeting on Thursday, and O’Reilly’s fate could be announced by the end of the week.
Politico notes that while Fox News initially insisted O’Reilly would be back, network spokespeople have stopped responding to questions about his status.