Amid his sudden 'vacation', and following initial rumors of a split within the Murdochs over Bill O'Reilly's future, NYMag.com is reporting that the Murdochs have decided his 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end.
According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.
Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter. Sources briefed on the discussions say O’Reilly’s exit negotiations are moving quickly.
NYMag's Gabriel Sherman notes that:
the Murdochs’ decision to dump O’Reilly shocked many Fox News staffers I’ve spoken to in recent days. Late last week, the feeling inside the company was that Rupert Murdoch would prevail over his son James, who lobbied to jettison the embattled host.
It’s still unclear exactly how the tide turned.
Spokespersons for 21st Century Fox and Fox News did not respond to requests for comment, nor did O’Reilly’s agent, Carole Cooper.