WASHINGTON – With yet another former Fox News employee coming forward making accusations of inappropriate behavior by Bill O’Reilly, the reigning king of cable news, the Murdoch family is reportedly split on whether the prime-time host will come back from a vacation that has just days left.
New York Magazine is one of several media sources reporting the Murdoch family is split on the matter, which is reportedly costing the most profitable TV news operation lots of lost advertising revenue.
While founder Rupert Murdoch is reportedly resisting O’Reilly’s ouster, sons James and Lachlan are said to be arguing for his departure.
While street protests outside Fox News headquarters and a parade of women making accusations ranging from sexual harassment to inappropriate and unprofessional remarks, the ad-revenue decline is said to be in free-fall.
“It’s worse than Glenn Beck,” one unnamed source was quoted as saying. Beck lost his show on Fox in 2011 when advertisers turned against him.
The magazine mentions another possible consideration: The Murdochs are trying to engineer a $14 billion takeover of European pay-TV provider Sky, and the British media regulator Ofcom is set to determine whether News Corp. is “fit and proper” to own the giant media property. Losing O’Reilly, some insiders believe, might help win approval.
In addition, the company is said to have paid around $13 million to settle claims of sexual harassment against O’Reilly.
Less than a year ago, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes was let go after a number of women charged him with sexual harassment and other similar charges.
The latest allegation against O’Reilly came Tuesday from the attorney of a Fox News clerical worker – a black woman – who claimed the host called her “hot chocolate.”
According to the woman’s attorney, O’Reilly “would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”
“The new O’Reilly accuser who I represent is not asking for money, just accountability,” said her attorney Lisa Bloom in a tweet.
Matt Drudge, among other observers, sees the end coming.
“O’Reilly has had tremendous run,” he tweeted out minutes after the latest “hot chocolate” shoe dropped. Very few in the business get to decide when and how things end. Media is most brutal of all industries.”
Read the history of the attacks on marriage and the family, from the days of Karl Marx and Margaret Sanger to those now pushing for mandatory recognition of same-sex “marriage,” in “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage.”