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2017 has been a big year for Bill O'Reilly. The former ratings king of Fox News was ousted back in April after news broke that he had been involved in sexual harassment lawsuits a number of times throughout his career, with millions of dollars in payouts footed by the network. He recently received a lucrative offer to join a new network, but negotiations have fallen through for an important reason.
Bill O'Reilly was given an offer to join the team at One America News Network that would have landed him higher pay than he received at Fox. OANN CEO Robert Herring broke the news that the offer had been pulled earlier this week, and he later confirmed to Mediaite that the network had decided to move on after O'Reilly and his agent neglected to give an answer to the offer. O'Reilly had reportedly been directly discussing joining OANN, so it makes sense that OANN wouldn't be too happy if he suddenly stopped communicating with him.
It hasn't been confirmed just how much money Bill O'Reilly would have made at OANN, but if Robert Herring's statement about an offer that would have exceeded his salary at Fox News is accurate, O'Reilly just lost the chance to make tens of millions of dollars back on cable news. As part of his departure from Fox News, he was to receive a severance package that equalled up to one year's salary of $25 million. If O'Reilly was going to return to TV, a new cable news deal of upwards of $25 million would have been a lucrative way to start.
All things considered, Bill O'Reilly may simply be looking to turn his attentions elsewhere than cable news. He has been working on expanding original video content on his website in the months since getting the boot from Fox News. O'Reilly has also become more active on social media, which points to a potential focus on Internet over television for the foreseeable future. He wouldn't be the only cable talk show host to realize that we're in an age in which digital media may replace linear media; sticking with his own brand on his own website rather than signing on with a new network could be a wise career choice for O'Reilly.
Personally, I'm curious about what would have happened if O'Reilly had signed on with OANN so soon after being sacked from Fox News due to sexual harassment lawsuits. He has admitted that he'd do things differently if he was in the Fox News situation again, but it's possible that OANN would face a backlash for signing him. OANN isn't nearly the cable news juggernaut that Fox News is, and advertisers pulling out in protest of a news personality's reputation could be devastating. Now, it seems that we'll never know, which... is fine, really. His fans can still find him online, and OANN will undoubtedly find somebody who does respond to lucrative offers.