Fox News is mulling the idea of asking primetime host Bill O’Reilly to leave the network and never return.
According to a “well-placed source” at Fox News close to O’Reilly who spoke to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman off the record, the network and the embattled host are discussing an exit strategy for the host of The O’Reilly Factor, following a controversial sexual harassment settlement in which the conservative pundit paid $13 million to five women who accused him of sexually harassing them in a workplace environment. CNN media analyst Brian Stelter tweeted that Fox News is no longer confirming Bill O’Reilly will return to the network next week. The New York Magazine report was also corroborated by several other journalists on Tuesday evening:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 19, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 18, 2017
CNN reports that 21st Century Fox and Bill O'Reilly have begun negotiating an exit https://t.co/VPU19tdHwQ
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) April 18, 2017
Sherman reported that a large reason for the proposal to get rid of Bill O’Reilly was due to the mass exodus of advertisers, who refused to run their commercials on The O’Reilly Factor amid mounting public pressure after his sexual harassment settlement was announced.
In addition to the five women O’Reilly paid as part of the settlement agreement, an African American woman recently came forward and alleged that the primetime pundit once called her “hot chocolate” and made unwanted sexual advances.
CNN reports that the 21st Century Fox board of directors will have a meeting on Thursday, in which one of the topics on the agenda will be to discuss O’Reilly’s fate. A decision on whether or not his contract is renewed is expected by the end of the week. While no final decision has been made so far, Matt Drudge of the conservative Drudge Report all but eulogized O’Reilly’s career in a tweet on Tuesday evening:
O'Reilly has had tremendous run. Very few in the business get to decide when and how things end. Media is most brutal of all industries…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) April 18, 2017
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.