Bill O’Reilly Announces Vacation Amid Backlash

Bill O’Reilly has announced that he’s going on vacation as more and more companies said they will not advertise on his show over sexual harassment allegations. As of Tuesday night, when he made the announcement, about 60 companies had refused to advertise on The O’Reilly Factor, according to the Associated Press. The Fox News host played down any connection between the scandal and his vacation, however, saying he’s taking a break “because it’s spring and Easter time.” “Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific,” he said on Tuesday night’s program. He’ll be back on the air on April 24, he said. The abrupt vacation comes after a New York Times report in early April said five women were paid a total of $13 million not to pursue litigation or talk about their sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly. Advertisers responded to the report by fleeing in droves, and an analysis published by Kantar Media on Tuesday says advertising time by paying customers has been cut by more than half in the wake of the scandal. His viewership has not suffered, however, with a 12 percent increase in viewers last week over the week prior.