Bill O'Reilly's no-job zone

Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor", announced Tuesday that he would be taking a "planned vacation," one he had scheduled last fall. Although around 60 companies have been reported to have pulled their commercials from O'Reilly's time slot, O'Reilly managed to attract more viewers to his show: according to data from Nielsen Media Research cited by Variety last week.

Last week, a bombshell New York Times article revealed that O'Reilly has paid out around $13 million over the years to five women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed O'Reilly will return on April 24.

The New York Times, citing data from ad-tracking firm iSpot TV, reported that in the week after the sexual harassment allegations surfaced, O'Reilly's show lost nearly half of its advertisers.

On Sunday, LawNewz.com reported on attorney Lisa Bloom's revelation that Fox News is investigating her client Wendy Walsh's sexual harassment claim against Bill O'Reilly.

The O'Reilly Factor averaged more than 3.7 million total viewers and 652,000 in the all-important 25-54 demo, making it the No. 1 show in both categories for the week.

But a new report indicates that this may become a permanent vacation for the serial sexual harasser.

"[Around this time of year] I grab some vacation, because it's spring and Easter time".

O'Donnell, who pronounced Fox News a "cesspool of sexual harassment and abuse of women", would love to be the beneficiary of such relevancy, should O'Reilly take him up on the dare... but don't hold your breath.

The program is one of the network's top-rated shows and a consistent top-performer among other cable news programs. There is already rampant speculation both inside Fox News and in the media - led by a report by NY magazine's Gabriel Sherman - that he may not return, though a Fox News spokesperson denied that was the case. But that uptick does not necessarily mean that advertisers who left "The O'Reilly Factor" are returning. But O'Reilly's fate rests with the Murdoch family and they are reportedly divided over how to handle it. O'Reilly has said that he settled the lawsuit to "spare his children the pain of messy public ordeals" and that he was targeted because he is famous.

He added, "I think he's a person I know well".

  • Salvatore Jensen