Former Fox News ratings powerhouse Bill O’Reilly revealed Saturday that he is set to launch a video streaming program on his website in the coming months and hinted he could be part of a new network that could compete with his former employer.
During the first stop of his “The Spin Stops Here” tour in Westbury, New York, the 67-year-old former cable news ratings king told the audience about his plans for the future, including for his BillOReilly.com website, where he has been hosting podcasts since his ouster from Fox earlier this year.
O’Reilly told the audience that he would begin his “own operation,” according to Newsday. He added that he is working on a half-hour video newscast inside a studio, and that it will resemble his long-running hit show The O’Reilly Factor.
“It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service. That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form,” he added. “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.”
“A bunch of people are looking to compete with Fox because there’s a perception” of decline, he reportedly added.
During the show, O’Reilly also addressed his exit from Fox News in April, which came after the New York Times reported that $13 million in payments had been made to settle multiple allegations of sexual harassment by the anchor. O’Reilly has vehemently denied the allegations.
“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,” he said, according to Newsday. “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.”
Fox News has undergone significant changes in the past year; founder Roger Ailes resigned under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations and died in May at the age of 77, while co-president and longtime producer Bill Shine left the network shortly after O’Reilly.
The network moved former Crossfire host Tucker Carlson into O’Reilly’s old 8 p.m. time slot, and moved its panel show The Five to 9 p.m. Sean Hannity remained on in the 10 p.m. hour.
Fox News is still the most-watched cable news network, but it has faced stronger competition in recent weeks as MSNBC and its star anchor, Rachel Maddow, have made ratings gains due to their focus on critical coverage of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum