Embattled O’Reilly taking unusually long spring break

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NEW YORK (AP) – Embattled Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly hasn’t taken this much time off consecutively in March or April for at least 10 years.

O’Reilly says he’s off “The O’Reilly Factor” until April 24. Cable television’s most popular host has seen an advertiser exodus following reports of settlements reached with five women to keep quiet about harassment accusations.

His announcement led to immediate speculation that he wouldn’t return. O’Reilly says he usually vacations in the spring, and that this year’s trip had been planned for months. An examination of transcripts shows that he does take breaks this time of year but never this long. Most years, his spring trips amount to long weekends.

Fox would not discuss whether network executives had anything to do with the duration of the trip.

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