Sinclair Broadcasting Wants to Save Bill O'Reilly's Career
Disgraced former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly could wind up in 72 percent of American households if he inks a reported deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
The right-wing media conglomerate is currently in talks with O'Reilly despite the recent news that O'Reilly received a contract extension from Fox News after he paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment allegation, according to NBC News.
Sinclair, a conservative news organization that is the largest television-station owner in the country, told NBC that the network had not completed any negotiations with the disgraced former Fox News host.
But sources told NBC that the two parties were "about midway" through their talks, and a second source "explained that Sinclair is considering putting O’Reilly on its local stations."
The former anchor's history, and the recent allegation that he had issued a massive payout for sexual harassment only to be rewarded with a contract extension, apparently didn't play a factor into Sinclair's willingness to court him.
"They took a pause but it didn't really change anything for them," a source told NBC.
O'Reilly has refused to admit any wrongdoing or misconduct and has denied all allegations. Instead, he has said the entire ordeal was a "hit job" and "politically and financially motivated."
On the latest episode of his web series, O'Reilly blamed God for his troubles.
“You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I’m mad at him.” O’Reilly said. “I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn’t happen. I can’t explain it to you. Yeah, I’m mad at him.”
The news of potential salvation from Sinclair comes as O'Reilly was dropped by United Talent Agency following the news of his $32 million payout. The agency informed him that he would no longer be represented by the company after his agreement with them expires at the end of the year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
O'Reilly's representative, Mark Fabiani, said the former anchor "has already lined up new representation," THR reported.
While O'Reilly hasn't disappeared entirely, including weekly appearances on Glenn Beck's radio show, a job with Sinclair would almost certainly thrust him into the mainstream, perhaps more than ever before.
Sinclair has also had its fair share of controversy in its news segments and efforts to consolidate newsrooms under a corporate structure. The broadcaster is currently in the process of acquiring Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, largely snubbing the Federal Communication Commission in the process. If the merger goes through, both O'Reilly and Sinclair would fill television screens in 72 percent of American households.