Update: The Wall Street Journal, owned by the Murdoch family, is reporting that Fox is prepared to boot Bill O’Reilly, its popular host who has been accused of sexual harassment.
The statement was the strongest yet in a day of continuing reports that James, Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch were negotiating an exit for O’Reilly following embarrassing revelations that the company and host had paid $13 million to settle lawsuits alleging sexual harassment.
On Tuesday yet another accuser of O’Reilly stepped forward to allege racial and sexual discrimination.
The Fox board of directors will meet later this week.
“The O’Reilly Factor” could be permanently without its namesake host by the end of this week, according to a WSJ insiders.
Citing several sources close to Fox and Bill O’Reilly, CNN also reported that the host will probably not be back on his hit Fox News show, and an announcement about his future was likely before the end of the week. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is meeting Thursday, and O’Reilly is expected to be a priority on the agenda.
O’Reilly has been in the middle of a sexual harassment scandal since the New York Times reported on April 1 that the host and Fox News have paid five women a total of $13 million in exchange for not pursuing litigation relating to accusations of sexual misconduct. A new accuser emerged Tuesday, alleging O’Reilly sexually and racially harassed her.
Earlier on Tuesday, New York Magazine’s Gabe Sherman reported that three “sources with knowledge of the discussions” said that James and Lachlan Murdoch, who run Fox, are leaning toward cutting O’Reilly loose, but a final decision hasn’t been made. who is currently on vacation — though no final decision has been made yet. O’Reilly was scheduled to be on vacation until April 24.
O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc A. Kasowitz, issued a statement Thursday, calling the allegations against the host “a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”