Fox News fans were left with a gaping hole in their hearts when network all-stars Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling were forced off the air by the company’s new leadership in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations.
But unlike others who fell completely off the radar, these two fought hard to maintain some shred of their reputation — which looks like it’s about to pay off in a big way.
According to reports, Bill O’Reilly is staging a cable news comeback — but it won’t be with his former employer, which abruptly parted ways with him amid #MeToo accusations before #MeToo was a thing. O’Reilly, sources tell Page Six, is currently in negotiations with another conservative cable network, Newsmax TV.
Page Six reports that Newsmax TV, which bills itself as a “kinder, gentler” Fox News, is angling to lock in O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, and Eric Bolling for its primetime lineup. Another well-known name rumored to be in the mix for a regular panel spot is former WH press secretary (and WH Easter Bunny) Sean Spicer.
“The deals are not done yet, but talks are in the advanced stages, certainly with O’Reilly,” a source told Page Six. “The thinking is, following a 6 p.m. news show, Greta would anchor the 7 p.m. hour, O’Reilly would be back at 8 p.m., and Bolling could smoothly continue on at 9 p.m. Spicer and his cohorts would go on at 10 p.m., with the later slot allowing the show to be looser. But the deals are not yet signed and sealed.”
O’Reilly’s talks with Newsmax reportedly gained momentum with the hiring of Fox’s former executive vice president of news, Michael Clemente.
O’Reilly’s years-long stint at Fox News ended just over a year ago after sexual harassment allegations against him, including settlements he paid in response, came to light. Though O’Reilly has consistently denied the allegations as “completely unfounded,” and says that he has evidence that the campaign against him has been largely waged by leftwing activist groups, he agreed to leave the company in April 2017, Rupert Murdoch issuing a statement citing the allegations as the reason for the breakup.
After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” said Murdoch in an April 19 statement. O’Reilly issued his own statement that day that made clear his hand had been forced. “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims,” he wrote. “But that is the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today.”
Here’s a summary of the allegations against O’Reilly:
Those accusers include, according to Axios, former producer Andrea Mackris reportedly received a $9 million settlement after O’Reilly allegedly made sexual references to her via phone; former guest Wendy Walsh accused O’Reilly of offering to help her at Fox but cutting her deal when she refused his sexual advances; former guest Juliet Huddy received a $1.6 million settlement from Fox News after she alleged that he made sexual phone calls to her and then tried to harm her career; former host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit against O’Reilly and former Fox News head Roger Ailes, who was ousted last year after allegations of sexual harassment; former host Laurie Dhue similarly sued both over similar allegations, and received a settlement in excess of $1 million; former host Rebecca Gomez Diamond alleged sexual phone calls from O’Reilly. A report this week from attorney Lisa Bloom alleged that O’Reilly called a black female clerical worker “hot chocolate” and leered at her.
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