Fox News attempted to shut down any speculation that the controversy surrounding anchor Sean Hannity would escalate any further.
The network said that the cable news host would be returning to work next week. "Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday," the network said in a statement to Varietyon Thursday. "Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish."
Hannity recently came under fire for repeatedly promoting a baseless conspiracy theory that the death of DNC staff member Seth Rich last summer was not, as police stated, a botched robbery, but that the young man was assassinated after providing documents to WikiLeaks.
On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a story they had published on their website about Rich's death. A few advertisers, including Cars.com, have pulled their business from Hannity's show. The scandal has drawn many comparisons to Bill O'Reilly's recent firing, which occurred after advertisers fled his program in the wake of a growing sexual harassment scandal.
For his part, Hannity has refused to back down on the matter. On Tuesday, the same day Fox News retracted the story, he continued to discuss the conspiracy theory on his radio show. However, in his broadcast later that night, he said that he would stop speaking about Rich's death out of respect for his family.
Hannity told HuffPost that Fox News never pressured him to stop discussing the story. He also, like O'Reilly, claimed that the media attention being paid to the advertisers is the result of liberals trying to silence him. "There's nothing that I did, nothing that I said, except they don't like my position politically," he said. "They'll try to ratchet up the intensity of their rationale. It does not justify an attempt to get me fired. And that's what this is. This is an attempt to take me out. This is a kill shot."
This is only the latest in a string of major hits the cable news network has taken recently. Co-founder Roger Ailes left last July in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. O'Reilly was ousted in April under similar circumstances. Co-president Bill Shine left two weeks following O'Reilly's departure. Host Bob Beckel was fired last week for allegedly making a racist remark. One of Fox News' most popular hosts, Megyn Kelly, also departed the network last year for NBC.