Bill O'Reilly's vacation from Fox News is set to become a permanent one, with insiders saying reps for O'Reilly and Fox have started negotiating an exit agreement for the host. Sources close to the network tell the Wall Street Journal and CNN, among others, that Fox is preparing to part with O'Reilly over sexual harassment allegations that have caused an exodus of advertisers and persistent protests outside Fox News headquarters in New York. A source close to O'Reilly denies that exit talks have started, but admits that it is unlikely that he will return to The O'Reilly Factor as scheduled next week.
Gabriel Sherman at New York magazine, who predicted O'Reilly's possible exit a week ago, says his sources inside Fox have told him no final decision has been made yet, but it's not looking good for O'Reilly: After initially supporting O'Reilly, Lachlan Murdoch is now siding with brother James against him, though father Rupert Murdoch is still on the host's side, the sources say. Sherman's sources say Fox execs are also leaning against O'Reilly because they are alarmed by a decline in ad revenue even bigger than the one that led to Glenn Beck's exit, and because ditching the host would likely please British regulators due to rule next month on whether Fox is a "fit and proper" company to take over media giant Sky. (Read more Bill O'Reilly stories.)