Bill O'Reilly takes break amid sponsor backlash

Bill O'Reilly is taking a break.

According to The Associated Press, the Fox News host told viewers Tuesday he's going on vacation, saying everyone needs a little "R&R."

O'Reilly's announcement on his Fox News Channel show, The O'Reilly Factor, came amid sponsor defections over a report of harassment allegations made against him.

O'Reilly said he usually takes a break this time and that his travel plans were made last year.

Though O'Reilly has lost more than 40 advertisers amid controversy over the settlement of multiple sexual harassment claims (and since hired a crisis manager), his ratings haven't suffered.

The New York Times spurred the advertiser defection after their April 1 exposé on five settlements reached with Fox News contributors and staffers. Some of the deals were reached after last summer's ouster of the network's longtime chief, Roger Ailes, after similar complaints were lodged against him.

On Tuesday, O'Reilly also recommended that everyone take two trips a year, saying everyone deserves a break. He will return April 24.

New York Magazine reported Tuesday, citing four network sources, that O'Reilly may not return to his show. Though Fox News co-president Bill Shine wants to keep O'Reilly, the decision to keep the embattled host on air is up to the Murdoch family, New York Magazine's report adds.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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