Media mogul Rupert Murdoch gushed about Fox News to his employees on Thursday, but didnt mention Bill OReilly, who has left for vacation since information about sexual harassment accusations against him have come to light.
The first few months of this year have already given usmuch to be thankful for, Murdoch, the Fox News chairman, said in a note to employees, Variety reported. He touted thehighest-rated quarter ever for Fox News, adding that he was tremendously proud and truly grateful for the hard work everyone has contributed to both the news operation and Fox Business.
He offered no update on OReilly, who took offfor vacation after Tuesdays showamid rumors that he could lose his job with Fox News. The vacation which OReilly said had long been planned and which is supposed to end in time for him to return to his program on April 24 began less than two weeks after The New York Times reported that OReilly, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox had paid out$13 million to settle claims with five women who had accused the host of sexual harassment. Some 60 companies have since yanked their adsfromThe OReilly Factor.
OReilly has insisted that he is a target of unfounded attacks. New York magazine reported this week, however, that Murdochs son James, CEO of 21st Century Fox, wants him gone for good. Murdoch and son Lachlan are fighting for him to stay, according to sources.
Following substantial payments to settle sex harassment complaints against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes who left the companylast year with$40 million employees are increasingly wary of executives commitmentto ending sexual harassment at the company, NPR reported.
Theres sort of a contempt for OReilly from some of his colleagues, particularly female colleagues, according to reporter David Folkenflik. And theres a cynicism about the degree of sincerity with which the Murdoch family and the top executives are operating.
So far the scandal hasnt hurt ratings for The OReilly Factor.The No. 1 program on cable has actually attracted more viewers, The Associated Press reports. OReillys program averaged 3.7 million viewers over five nights last week, up 12 percent from the previous week.
Foxs parent company has hired the Paul Weisslaw firm to investigate the claims against OReilly. Its the same firm the company used to investigate Ailes.
One steadfast defender of the Fox News host: President Donald Trump.I dont think Bill did anything wrong, Trump said after the accusations were reported. He is a good person.