A report from New York’s Gabriel Sherman suggests that Bill O’Reilly may not return to Fox News after tonight.
O’Reilly has announced he’s going on vacation. He made a point of saying that he booked his trip last fall – with the unstated message that nobody should think it has to do with the explosive sexual harassment scandal engulfing him and Fox News. But Sherman reports that four network sources tell him tonight’s show could be his last.
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.)
“The assumption is that he’ll exit in a non-embarrassing way,” one senior Fox News staffer told me.
It seems inevitable O’Reilly will have to leave sooner rather than later. But will this really be it? Not if O’Reilly’s comments about his vacation are to be believed.
O’REILLY: Often around this time of the year, I grab some vacation because it’s spring and Easter time. Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific. I’m not gonna tell you where it is but we have a contest on BillOReilly.com, “Guess where Bill’s going?” I’ll have a full report when I return.
To me, these comments are reminiscent of the remarks O'Reilly made last summer when he took a sudden vacation in the wake of Andrea Tantaros’ lawsuit. In it, she accused him of sexual harassment but did not name him as a defendant.
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Sherman that O’Reilly will return on April 24.
For what it's worth, my guess is that Fox is waiting to see if the scandal blows over by then and whether advertisers will start returning.
Watch O’Reilly’s remarks about his vacation below, from the April 11, 2017 The O’Reilly Factor.
Meaning he WON’T be dragged by what little hair he has left down a stairwell?
During his absent, his replacement ratings will be closely watched to see if the messenger or message is the deciding factor, in the same way, that Tucker Carlson improved the ratings in Megyn Kelly’s old time slot.
The month of May is also a rating’s sweeps month meaning based on ratings for the month is how networks base advertising rates, so unless nothing new surfaces against Bill in the next ten days I believe he will survive in the short term, but if the advertisers don’t come slithering back, then it’s very likely Bill will be receiving a golden parachute.
Unless he is going to a private island or extremely private resort, I think his vacation will take place in his gated community home in Manhasset. He can send his staff out for bagels lest be seen.
On topic, the key is advertiser pressure.
No surprise Rupert could care less about sexual harassment. One wonders how many women he screwed abusing his money and power. We certainly know the ‘stud’ collects trophy wives.
That said, a man with no moral center like Rupert does understand profit and loss statements. If “The Factor” doesn’t deliver the dough Bill-O is toast.
Remember the little bigot was so impressed that, "There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ "
Wherever O’Bully’s going, it can’t be unpleasant, dirty, disease-ridden and dangerous enough. For all that money, he can’t get away from himself for a single second.