Following multiple allegations of harassment (he has denied those allegations), some lost love from advertisers, and a painfully-timed book release on "family values," Bill O'Reilly is taking a vacation from The O'Reilly Factor. The question on everyone's mind now is whether O'Reilly will ever come back to his show. Or is it possible that the famed Fox News talking-head might actually be taking a break from the "no-spin zone" for good?
While a Fox news spokesman confirmed to NYMag that O'Reilly would be back in the studio April 24, the fact remains that the same lawyers who investigated the allegations against former Fox CEO Roger Ailes (he has denied those allegations) are taking a "deep dive" look at O'Reilly's alleged behavior. NYMag, for example, reported that there are claims from four "network sources" that O'Reilly's return still isn't guaranteed. Still, O'Reilly himself has maintained that the allegations of sexual harassment are false. On April 1, he released a statement via his website:
Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.
Trump has also defended the host, calling him a "good person," and claimed he shouldn't have settled lawsuits having to do with the accusations. Instead, Trump said he should have "taken it all the way," presumably in court.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, many well-versed in media and advertising believe that O'Reilly's recent loss of advertisers (due to the efforts of #GrabYourWallet, Sleeping Giants, @StopOReilly and more) might be the major sign of his final days at Fox, or simply prove to be an achilles heel— as he'd lost more than 60 advertisers as of April 7, per CNN. As noted in a deep-dive look at advertising losses experienced by Breitbart News throughout the election (and previous losses experienced by pundits Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh) by Media Matters' Eric Boehlert: "Once a flood of advertisers decides to leave offensive, right-wing media outlets, those advertisers rarely return."
Toward the end of Tuesday's program, O'Reilly announced his vacation, stating it was something he tried to do each year around Easter/springtime and encouraged viewers to take two trips a year — as more information is made clear about the investigation and allegations, we'll find out just how long this trip might be.