Multiple media reports, citing anonymous sources, emerged Tuesday suggesting that Bill O’Reilly’s future relationship with Fox News was becoming uncertain, as the controversy surrounding harassment allegations made against the top-rated cable news host grew.
“Bill O’Reilly’s position at Fox News grew increasingly tenuous on Tuesday,” the New York Times reported, citing “three people briefed on discussions about his future.”
The Wall Street Journal said “Fox News is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation.”
The parent company of the Journal is News Corp (NWSA), which is owned by the Murdoch family, who also controls 21st Century Fox (FOX), Fox News’s parent firm.
The article in the Journal was published two hours after CNN’s Brian Stelter reported, citing “a well-placed source,” that “Fox News and Bill O’Reilly are talking exit.”
The rumors come six days before O’Reilly is scheduled to return to the air from vacation, and follow a weeks-long wave of growing outrage and backlash against him and the cable news channel over allegations of sexual harassment, first reported by the New York Times.
O’Reilly has maintained that the accusations are unfounded. In a statement Tuesday night, his attorney called them part of “a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”
The claims will be investigated, 21st Century Fox said last week, as protestors gathered earlier Tuesday outside the New York headquarters of Fox News, demanding O’Reilly’s firing.
A request for comment from Fortune was not immediately returned by Fox’s PR department.