For nearly two decades, Bill O’Reilly has been shouting down guests and airing his hard-line conservative opinions on the Fox News network. He’s ticked off liberals and elicited head nods from conservatives. But in a stroke of happy news for the folks who are tired of his rhetoric, O’Reilly may be stepping down from his position. And he may be doing it as early as next year.
Although O’Reilly’s show “The O’Reilly Factor” has been the top-rated show on cable news for ten years, the host and blowhard-in-chief may be growing a little tired of the grind at age 66. He told an interviewer for AdWeek magazine that he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep up the pace. When he was asked by his interviewer “How much longer do you want to do a nightly TV show?” the host had this to say:
‘I don’t know. I go day to day. I don’t want to work this hard much longer. I know that. Because I work hard. I earn my money.’
O’Reilly reportedly makes $15 million a year doing what he does, and perhaps for good reason. The host couldn’t resist a brag once he got the opportunity. He told his interviewer that he has yet to be knocked down by the competition.
‘But the shocking thing to me is nobody beats me. These young gunslingers, they should be kind of beating me—but they’re not.’
The interviewer then asked if anyone might fill the void in the Fox News ratings if the network were to lose “The O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly himself was reluctant to name a “new Bill O’Reilly.”
‘I don’t wish that on anyone. I think everybody has their own unique presentation. There will be somebody that comes. But it’s not as easy as it looks.’
O’Reilly’s contract will be up for renewal in 2017, so we’ll find out then if we’ll have to endure a few more years of him. If the host does wind up retiring, it would mean one of the biggest changes for the Fox News lineup in two decades.
There’s certainly reason to be skeptical about any retirement claims, though. For one, the host could just be posturing for a bigger salary. As the highest-rated show on the network, “The O’Reilly Factor” is a cornerstone of Fox News and losing it could be a major blow to their bottom line. In the second quarter of 2016, the show averaged about 3 million viewers a night. For comparison, “The Kelly File,” Fox News’ next runner-up, only managed an average of 2.4 million viewers per night. And while O’Reilly’s fan base tends to be older, he still has the largest share of the coveted 24-54 year-old demographic among his peers at Fox News.
It’s also certainly possible that O’Reilly is seeking to capitalize on his enormous fan base by pursuing one of his other interests. He has authored or co-authored 22 books, frequently holds live events, and even produces a weekly Fox News historical series entitled “Legends & Lies.”