Embattled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly announced on Tuesday that he will be going off the air for almost two weeks, to take a vacation.
The anchor’s announcement comes amid an ongoing controversy over sexual harassment allegations made against him and a new report that James Murdoch wants him out of the company for good.
The claims prompted 60 sponsors to drop their advertising deals with the prime time show and led to an internal investigation.
Four network sources told New York Magazine that it’s up to the Murdoch family, the owners of Fox, whether O’Reilly will stay or go. Rupert Murdoch and his older son Lachlan are reportedly inclined to keep O’Reilly, while younger son James – the CEO of 21st Century Fox – wants to give O’Reilly the boot.
O’Reilly declined to share where he was heading, but has launched an online contest for fans to vote on where they think his vacation destination is. He made the point that the time off was voluntary.
Announcing the break at the end of Tuesday’s show, O’Reilly made a point of saying it was planned and long in the works. He said he will return April 24.
Around this time of year, ‘I grab some vacation, because it’s spring and Easter time. Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific,’ he said.
The exodus of sponsors followed a recent report in The New York Times that five women were paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about harassment allegations.