Fox News and Bill O’Reilly may split as part cable news’ biggest divorce shocker yet. Earlier this week, the host of The O’Reilly Factor announced that he will not be on the air again until April 24.
Several insiders from the network pointed out the fact that O’Reilly always takes a vacation during this time of the year while his children are on spring break. That didn’t dampen the speculation that O’Reilly and Fox News are no longer a match made in conservative news heaven.
However, new reports indicate there’s a good chance O’Reilly signed off the air for the final time at Fox. That’s due to the number of sexual assault cases that have come up against the sometimes-controversial anchor.
Just last week, the New York Times reported that the network paid a total of around $13 million to five different women who have each accused O’Reilly of sexual misconduct through the years. Each of the five women was either a guest on the show or worked for Fox News.
These women have something else in common. They alleged that O’Reilly used his position within the network to make inappropriate suggestions and comments, or act out inappropriately, in their presence. Some of the examples his accusers allege him of include: verbal abuse, unwanted sexual advances being made on the women and even receiving calls from Mr. O’Reilly during what sounded like him pleasuring himself.
Several legal documents suggest that either Fox News, O’Reilly or a combination of the two settled with each of the women for large amounts of money. The idea is that the money stopped any formal litigation.
Dr. Wendy Walsh, a frequent guest on Fox News, was not one of the women receiving a financial settlement. Walsh revealed to The New York Times that she did not accept what was referred to as “reporter’s advances.” That means Fox News refused to make her a regular contributor. She would have received more money from the network as someone on the air regularly.
Dr. Walsh has made it clear that her crusade against O’Reilly was never about seeking a significant amount of money. The only goal was to make sure that others are aware of the kind of person O’Reilly truly is.
Because of the latest news in this scandal, the number of advertisers fleeing The O’Reilly Factor continues to increase. Within the last week, an episode of the program features paid ad time from only seven companies.