Fox News to cut ties with Bill O'Reilly

The Rupert Murdoch and ‎News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal reports Fox News "is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O'Reilly," and a final decision on his "fate could come as early as the next several days."

The 'O'Reilly Factor' host has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment for over 15 years by a number of women. Most recently, an April 1, 2017 article in the New York Times [screenshot] revealed an apparent conspiracy to hide $13 million in previously undisclosed settlement payments he and Fox News made to five women who worked on or appeared on his program. A steady escalation of internal and public pressure on Fox News to fire Mr. O'Reilly followed that news report.

From today's Wall Street Journal story on O'Reilly's likely imminent ouster from Fox News:

Mr. O'Reilly hasn't been on the air since April 11, when he ended his show by announcing plans for a vacation. While Mr. O'Reilly had planned to take this week off, the early start to his vacation wasn't part of the original plan, people familiar with the matter said. The plan was for him to return to his show next Monday.

On Tuesday, an attorney for Mr. O'Reilly said the host has "been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America" and added that it has "evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O'Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons."

The negative publicity for 21st Century Fox follows the exit last year of Fox News Chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes that put a spotlight on the treatment of women at the network. Mr. Ailes resigned in July after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, prompting an internal investigation within the company. Mr. Ailes has denied all of the accusations.

IMAGES: Donald J. Trump and Bill O'Reilly in 2012. Since O'Reilly's latest sexual harassment shitstorm hit, President Trump said he supports his friend and can empathize with being on the receiving end of multiple sexual harassment claims. Oh, I bet he can. Photo: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters