The Fox News Channel today addressed the controversy surrounding prime-time mainstay Sean Hannity, saying he will be back on the air next week following a Memorial Day holiday vacation, Variety reports.
The channel’s statement comes amid speculation that Hannity may be on shaky ground at Fox.
“Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday,” Fox News said in today’s statement. “Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish.”
Variety notes: “Hannity has become embroiled in a furor over his recent promotion of a discredited story about the death last summer of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was murdered in Washington, D.C. last July in what local police have stated they believe is a botched robbery, Hannity has in recent days promoted an unproven theory that Rich was killed in exchange for providing internal documents to Wikileaks, prompting statements of outrage from the Rich family.”
As we reported previously, Cars.com pulled its ads from Hannity’s show as the controversy escalated. Deadline is reporting that Peloton is also pulling its spots from the show, while Variety notes that “a handful of small advertisers” have indicated they’re moving their ads from Hannity’s program.
The controversy has drawn comparisons to the recent ouster of FNC stalwart Bill O’Reilly after advertisers began dropping his show in response to revelations about sexual harassment cases.
For his part, Hannity has backed away from the Rich story. “Out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing the matter at this time,” he said on his show Tuesday night.