Report: FOX News to sever ties with Bill O'Reilly

FOX News will reportedly sever its relationship with Bill O'Reilly.

Sources told Gabriel Sherman of the Daily Intelligencer that the Murdoch-run cable news network is preparing to announce O'Reilly's departure from FOX News after 21 years. The biggest question for executives now is how the announcement will be made and whether or not O'Reilly will get the chance to return to air to announce the news himself.

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O'Reilly, who is the top-rated news host on cable television, is currently out on a pre-planned vacation until April 24, so FOX News execs have less than a week to decide how to handle his exit. The discussion is "moving quickly," sources said.

See photos of Bill O'Reilly:

According to the report, executives held an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss how to announce their decision without suffering blowback from O'Reilly's loyal audience. The two biggest issues being factored into consideration are whether or not to let O'Reilly return to air to say goodbye and, of course, money.

Though execs are reportedly leaning toward not allowing the controversial figure to return to air, the financial aspect of his termination could get complicated as he "recently signed a new multi-year contract worth more than $20 million per year."

FOX News' decision to let O'Reilly go comes after weeks of growing scandal surrounding reports that he had sexually harassed women at the network for years. The New York Times reported earlier this month that FOX and O'Reilly had paid out over $13 million settling harassment suits with various women.

Previous reports had indicated that James and Lachlan Murdoch were butting heads over whether or not to keep O'Reilly at FOX News, with James leading the charge to oust him. Sources close to the situation indicated that Lachlan's wife contributed to his opinion change, though their father, Rupert's, change of heart (he is reportedly an O'Reilly loyalist) shocked staffers at FOX News.

More to come.

Women who have left FOX News:

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