People close to the situation say that “a final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days,” according to WSJ, which is owned by Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch. A source also told CNN that “representatives for Fox and O’Reilly have begun talking about an exit.”
Additionally, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, “O’Reilly’s fate at the network is expected to be discussed on Thursday at a board meeting for Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox.”
In April, The New York Times reported that five women were paid a collective $13 million by The O’Reilly Factor host and Fox News for agreeing not to file lawsuits or speak publicly about allegations that he harassed them. The settlements — involving women who have either worked with O’Reilly or appeared on his show — took place sporadically between 2002 and 2016.
Addressing the allegations, O’Reilly posted a statement to his website on April 1, emphasizing that his position has made him “vulnerable to lawsuits,” despite the fact that “no one has ever filed a complaint,” about him with the Human Resources Department.
“The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel,” he wrote. “Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me.”
The 67-year-old longtime O’Reilly Factor host, who a has been the face of the Fox show since 1996, announced on April 11 that he would be taking a vacation, adding that he scheduled the trip “last fall.”
The break came after dozens of advertisers pulled their commercials from The O’Reilly Factor in the wake of the New York Times report.
O’Reilly’s exit comes nearly a year after former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes quit amid Gretchen Carlson‘s sexual harassment lawsuit against him.