In an appearance in Westbury, New York on Saturday, ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly hinted he was planning to start his own news outlet to go after his “declining” former employer.
O’Reilly was appearing in public for the first time since he was fired from the network in April over allegations of sexual harassment. The event at Long Island’s NYCB Theater was the first stop on O’Reilly’s “The Spin Stops Here” tour, according to New York Newsday.
Appearing with longtime collaborator Dennis Miller, O’Reilly said “there could be a new network” being fronted by O’Reilly and other conservatives.
“A bunch of people are looking to compete with Fox because there’s a perception” that the network is declining, O’Reilly said.
“But I am starting my own operation. We are going to do that,” he continued, saying that he would expand his podcast through a test-run “where we will go into a studio and here it will look like ‘The Factor.’
“It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service,” O’Reilly said. “That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form. But I suspect there will be another network maybe merging with us. There will be a network that rises up because the numbers for Fox are going down.”
He added that he thought the network was shifting away from its original mission.
“It’s a different network,” O’Reilly said. “It happens. I’m not going to bad-mouth them. They had a shift in management that coincided with a very well thought-out and financed effort to destroy me. It worked — temporarily. It all had to do with President Trump. In the weeks to come, I’m going to lay all that out in a very public way.”
The former host of “The O’Reilly Factor” has already started his own podcast and is appearing on Glenn Beck’s radio show, according to The Hill. Beck, who was also ousted at Fox News, had mounted a similar challenge to the media establishment via TheBlaze. However, that network has faced significant financial troubles since its 2011 inception and has struggled to gain an audience.
However, with the recent shakeups at Fox News and its ideological drift to the left, a new venture may have the ability to make some headway. Whether or not it’s O’Reilly’s venture remains to be seen, but the fact that he’s considering it is yet another augury of significant changes in the traditional media landscape.
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