Is O'Reilly Going Off Fox?

If he goes off the air for a while, will calm return?

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly announced Tuesday night that he is going on vacation, days after the network's parent company said it has hired an outside firm to investigate sexual harassment claims against the star host. Naturally, his next logical step is to take a vacation.

O'Reilly has shrugged off the controversy and he dismissed the allegations against him in a statement that said his fame makes him "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity".

So, while the timing of O'Reilly's departure has ginned up speculation it might be permanent, there is no concrete sign O'Reilly won't be keeping his promise to return on April 24.

The vacation is a family trip that was planned in October, including airline and hotel reservations, O'Reilly spokesperson Mark Fabiani told CNNMoney.

"[Around] this time of year, I grab some vacation because it's spring and Easter time", O'Reilly said on Tuesday's show. But they both returned as scheduled, and stayed with the network for months to years; New York's Daily Intelligencer, citing four network sources, says O'Reilly may not be back.

Speaking of, the 39-year old comedian revealed during the Sunday night edition of "Last Week Tonight" that he was planning to buy ads on "The O'Reilly Factor" in both NY and Washington.

Bill O'Reilly's announcement comes after a New York Times report that revealed Fox or O'Reilly paid out $13 million to settle sexual harassment cases against him. O'Reilly has continually denied these claims.

According to research from Kantar Media, "The O'Reilly Factor" hit a low April 7 with only 4 minutes and 40 seconds of paid advertising. Tuesday night's broadcast contained about 10 commercials from companies like CoolSpa, Gravely Lawn Mowers, Hair Club, and Australian Dream Pain Relief.

Keeping O'Reilly on the air and as a viable personality has been critical for Fox News Channel.

Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on O'Reilly's show, told the Times the cable TV anchor retracted a lucrative role as a Fox contributor after she rebuffed his sexual advances in 2013. More than 3.71 million people watched the program last week, a 12 percent jump from the audience O'Reilly drew the week before, and up 28 percent from the same week in 2016, the Nielsen company said, according to the Associated Press.

  • Zachary Reyes