Fox News will no longer even respond to questions about whether Bill O’Reilly will return to his show.
A well-placed source said Tuesday afternoon that representatives for Fox and O’Reilly have begun talking about an exit. But this prompted a denial from sources in O’Reilly’s camp.
Even one person close to O’Reilly, however, said he will probably not be back on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The original well-placed source said an announcement about O’Reilly’s fate was likely by the end of the week.
The fact that none of these sources were willing to go on the record speaks to the delicate maneuvering underway.
The network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, will hold a board meeting on Thursday, a spokeswoman told CNNMoney. One of the sources said O’Reilly will be a primary topic.
The Murdochs, the men who control 21st Century Fox, are pointedly not commenting on any of this.
But conversations inside Fox have already turned to possible O’Reilly successors.