Andrew Harnik | AP
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is in talks with a radio station owned by a longtime ally of President Donald Trump to host a new show that would place him in a programming lineup heavily populated by leading conservative pundits.
O’Reilly, according to his attorney Fred Newman, is in the final stages of contract negotiations with New York-based radio station 77 WABC to host a show that is expected to debut in the fall. That network is owned by John Catsimatidis, who also owns the Gristedes grocery chain and is a vocal advocate for the president.
“We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall,” Newman told CNBC through his assistant. O’Reilly’s representative also confirmed the talks were being held with 77 WABC. Catsimatidis confirmed the ongoing negotiations to CNBC.
“I wll confirm that, and I think he is one common-sense American,” Catsimatidis said of O’Reilly. He declined to comment further.
The New York businessman bought the radio station from Cumulus Media in June. He is currently exploring a run for mayor of New York City in 2021 and recently told the New York Post that he would be willing to spend $100 million if he decides to get into the race. Catsimatidis ran for mayor in 2013 but ended up losing in the Republican primary.
The show would mark the latest stage of O’Reilly’s attempted comeback since he left Fox News under controversial circumstances. O’Reilly, 70, has been accused by multiple former Fox News employees of sexual harassment. The network ended his show in 2017 after the revelation of several expensive settlements for the alleged harassment. Before he left the network, his show had been a major ratings driver since 1996.
Since his departure from Fox, O’Reilly called reporting of the accusations and settlements by The New York Times a “smear” and has moved on from his “O’Reilly Factor” into a show called “No Spin News.” It airs on his website, YouTube, and on a conservative OTT streaming network known as “The First.” The channel streams on several platforms, including Pluto TV, an internet television service owned by ViacomCBS.
He already makes appearances on the radio network, including for a segment titled “The O’Reilly Update.” There, he gives his take on a wide range of political topics that often revolve around Trump. The update, according to the magazine Radio Ink, can be heard on over 200 radio stations.
O’Reilly has also interviewed Trump himself after leaving Fox News.
If he seals the deal to appear on 77 ABC, O’Reilly will be joining several other conservative hosts with just under 90 days until Trump faces the presumptive Democratic nominee in Joe Biden.
The other hosts include Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade and Mark Levin. Some of these hosts have their shows syndicated on other stations.