Bill O’Reilly‘s chances of landing another on-air job in TV news appear to be getting bleaker by the day.
Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley told analysts on a conference call that contrary to recent reports stating otherwise, his company has no interest in hiring O’Reilly, the former Fox News icon who was forced out after sexual harassment allegations came to light back in April.
Ripley admitted that O’Reilly approached him about a potential gig at the Maryland-based media company. Sinclair’s local news operation is known for its conservative slant, and employs former Trump administration official and conservative firebrand Boris Epshtyn, whose op-ed segments are “must runs” on Sinclair stations.
“We get approached by people all the time, which is probably where these reports were coming from,” said Ripley. “He did approach us. We do not have any interest in hiring him.”
O’Reilly would have been a notable addition to a growing company. Sinclair is already the largest broadcast group in the U.S., and if its pending $3.9 billion deal to acquire Tribune Media is OKed next year, its portfolio will include a whopping 220 local stations. This expansion would include stations in the New York and L.A. markets.
Apparently the baggage that comes with O’Reilly, who had been cable news’s most-watched host for 15 years, is much. He has paid out sexual harassment settlements to six different women (that have been reported to-date) for a whopping $45 million over the years, including a $32 million settlement with Fox News legal contributor Lis Wiehl that was reported by the New York Times last month.
21st Century Fox chief James Murdoch recently said the $32 million settlement, reportedly paid out by O’Reilly himself, “was news to me.”