WSJ: Fox Preparing To Cut Ties To O’Reilly [Watch]
Joe Flint, The Wall Street Journal
Fox News is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation.
A final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days, the people said. Mr. O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” has been ensnared in a sexual-harassment scandal related to previously undisclosed settlements he and Fox News paid to women who worked on or appeared on his program.
Since an April 1 article in the New York Times detailing $13 million in settlements paid to five women, pressure has been growing on Fox News, both internally and from activists, to remove Mr. O’Reilly.
Initially, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox FOX -0.36% stood by their highly-rated host. Mr. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing, saying he paid settlements to “put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
However, as advertisers fled his show, debate inside company ensued over the pros and cons of keeping Mr. O’Reilly on the air. His show draws about 4 million viewers a night, and the controversy didn’t dent his ratings.