Fox information host bill O’Reilly is gone on a protracted Easter vacation, escaping the firestorm that currently surrounds him. however in his absence, Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan proceed to debate his future.
The Murdochs’ hope, two sources on the subject of the matter said, is that O’Reilly’s two-week vacation will mood the media frenzy that has surrounded O’Reilly in view that April 1, when the brand new York instances printed that he and Fox had paid $ thirteen million in settlements to 5 women who’d accused him of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.
certainly, shop for one Boston affiliate’s decision to drop “Fox” from the name of its newscast, as a result of it had develop into a liability, O’Reilly used to be largely absent from the headlines on Friday.
however the vacation has best offered the Murdochs extra time: O’Reilly is scheduled to come to his express on April 24, and sources accustomed to the Murdochs’ discussions wait for that the corporate may have a proper announcement on O’Reilly’s standing with the aid of then.
there’s disagreement among the many Murdoch family, consistent with three sources with information of the matter: Rupert, the executive chairman of Fox information’ guardian firm twenty first Century Fox, supports O’Reilly and chafes at the thought of caving to public pressure — especially if that power is pushed by means of outraged liberals who presume that where there may be smoke there should be hearth.
James, the executive government officer, believes the smoke is dangerous sufficient by itself, the sources said. he’s embarrassed with the aid of the controversy and feels that the sexual harassment scandals surrounding each O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, the previous Fox news CEO, have damaged the corporate’s recognition.
Lachlan, also an govt chairman, is someplace in the middle — respectful of his father’s leadership while also understanding of how 21st Century Fox’s protection of O’Reilly can make it appear mired in 20th century values.
All three of the Murdochs cannot fail to acknowledge that O’Reilly is an immense financial asset, bringing in more than $ one hundred million in annual income for the company. they’re additionally likely smartly aware that, regardless of the public backlash, O’Reilly’s scores remain as sturdy as ever.
There are two elements that could tip their pondering on O’Reilly: the primary is the interior investigation through legislation agency Paul, Weiss into the accusations made by means of Wendy Walsh, a former guest on O’Reilly’s software.
Walsh has alleged that O’Reilly cancelled her segment on the show after she rebuffed his advances. even if Fox’s investigators decide that O’Reilly’s behavior toward Walsh was by no means inappropriate, there could also be repercussions. As one twenty first Century Fox source stated, investigations like these are a starting point that can open up new doorways of inquiry.
The 2nd issue is the federal investigation into whether or now not twenty first Century Fox misled buyers by means of hiding funds to girls who accused Ailes of sexual harassment. That, too, may open new traces of inquiry into O’Reilly’s history.
Spokespeople for twenty first Century Fox and O’Reilly declined to comment; a spokesperson for Fox news had no longer responded to a request for remark as of the time of publication.
CNNMoney (la) First printed April 14, 2017: 5:04 PM ET
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