The current No. 1 cable news host appears to want the former No. 1 cable news host to come home.
Sean Hannity interviewed Bill O’Reilly on his syndicated radio program yesterday, and seemed to encourage the disgraced former Fox Newser to come back 31 months after O’Reilly was forced to leave the network due to a number of pricey payouts to settle sexual harassment lawsuits.
Hannity’s comments on his Tuesday radio interview with O’Reilly were first reported by the left wing media watchdog organization Media Matters.
The former colleagues discussed O’Reilly’s recent interview with the president, before diving into matters pertaining to Fox News.
“I have never seen a human being able to absorb more punishment than Donald Trump,” O’Reilly told Hannity.
“So true, it’s unbelievable,” Hannity responded.
“You and I, we can identify because we’ve been attacked for more than 20 years, each of us has,” O’Reilly said.
“24 to be exact,” Hannity corrected. “By the way, I keep offering you, go back on Fox, and…”
“Yeah and why do I want to do that?” O’Reilly cut in to say. “So I can have security guards go with me everywhere, like I used to?”
“No, so that you take the No. 1 slot,” said Hannity. “I can tell you it’s easier being No. 2 because we’ll end the — we’ll end the year again No. 1 in all of cable, and with that comes all the crap associated with it.”
“You bet” O’Reilly said, “but your listeners should understand there is a price to pay for being a traditional conservative American in this country.”
Tucker Carlson presently owns 8 p.m. hour on Fox News, the hour O’Reilly had owned for years. Tucker Carlson Tonight is often the No. 2 cable news show, and although his total viewer numbers don’t match those of O’Reilly, Carlson’s performance in the A25-54 demo does match up favorably with what the former host of The O’Reilly Factor was hauling over the years.
In April 2017, advertisers began to pull their spots from what had been Fox News’ No. 1 show for decades. It was the beginning of the end for Bill O’Reilly‘s 20-year Fox career. This came right after The New York Times reported O’Reilly and Fox had paid out $13 million to five women to sexual harassment suits. That led to protests outside of the News Corp. building in Manhattan, an advertiser boycott, and, 19 days later, O’Reilly was gone.
With that in mind, my guess is Fox News isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to bring O’Reilly back.