Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel program "The O'Reilly Factor," poses for photos in New York. (Photo by Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel program “The O’Reilly Factor,” poses for photos in New York. (Photo by Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Bill O’Reilly announced at the end of tonight’s The O’Reilly Factor that he’s going on vacation, returning later this month, and announced a “Guess Where Bill Is Going” online contest. This constitutes news because O’Reilly has yet to publicly address a New York Times report that Fox News and its primetime star had, between them, allegedly paid five women nearly $13M in settlements going back 15 years.

Navel lint-gazing ensued immediately after he made his announcement; pundits wondered if he actually would return; if it had, in fact, been planned in advance; if the vacay would help quell the controversy and the major advertiser bailout from his program – more than 70 companies at last count – in the wake of the report. Also, what exactly did O’Reilly mean when he said, “We all need R&R. Put it to good use?”

Fox News parent, 21st Century Fox will investigate the sexual harassment claims, the lawyer of one of his accusers said Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources.

EVP Ad Sales Paul Rittenberg said, in the early stages of the advertiser bailout, that Fox News was working with the companies “to address their current concerns about The O’Reilly Factor,” adding, “At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”

Presumably, while O’Reilly is vacationing, President Donald Trump will continue to stand by his longtime friend. Trump recently told The New York Times in an Oval Office sit-down, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

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