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Days After Fox Opens Investigation Into Harassment Claims, Bill O’Reilly Goes on ‘Vacation’

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for America’s #1 cable news channel, Fox News. The network has been hit with a major lawsuit alleging that host Bill O’Reilly sexually harassed a colleague.

In response to the lawsuit, the network has hired an outside law firm to investigate the matter and to determine if the allegations against O’Reilly are true. To make matters worse, the liberal New York Times revealed that Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, has paid $13 million to settle 5 different sexual harassment complaints against O’Reilly over the years.

Now, just days after Fox News hired lawyers, O’Reilly announced that he was taking a vacation, causing people to speculate as to whether to cable news host would ever return to the airwaves.

From New York Magazine:

He announced that he’d scheduled his trip “last fall” — well before the New York Times reported he paid $13 million to settle harassment claims. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed O’Reilly will return on April 24.

But according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last. Lawyers for the law firm Paul, Weiss, hired last summer by 21st Century Fox to investigate Roger Ailes, are currently doing a “deep dive” investigation into O’Reilly’s behavior. They’re focused now on sexual harassment claims by O’Reilly guest Wendy Walsh after she reported her claims via the company’s anonymous hotline.

Fox News co-president Bill Shine has been working hard to keep O’Reilly, sources said. But O’Reilly’s future is in the hands of the Murdochs. “It’s up to the family,” the senior Fox News staffer said. The Murdochs are presently divided over how to handle it. Two highly placed Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like O’Reilly to be permanently taken off the air, while his father, Rupert, and older brother, Lachlan, are more inclined to keep him. (A spokesperson for the Murdochs declined to comment.)

While sponsors have fled O’Reilly’s show since the latest allegations surfaced, the Fox News host has seen a ratings surge in recent weeks, suggesting that his fans aren’t going anywhere. Given that O’Reilly is the top rated host on Fox News, it makes the network’s decision about his future extremely difficult.

While it is unclear whether or not the network will decide O’Reilly’s fate before the investigation officially concludes, his sudden “vacation” won’t stop people from talking.

Do you think O’Reilly will remain at Fox News, or will he be fired? Share your thoughts below! 

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