Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley said his company has no interest in hiring Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News star who was forced out this year after explosive allegations of sexual harassment.
In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Ripley said O’Reilly had approached Sinclair about possible work, but Ripley shut down the idea of bringing him on, according to Deadline.
“We get approached by people all the time, which is probably where these reports were coming from,” Ripley said. “He did approach us. We do not have any interest in hiring him.”
Sinclair, which is known for its conservative commentary and is already the nation’s largest television-station owner, said it’s closing in on acquiring Tribune Media by the beginning of 2018. If approved, Sinclair would control more than 220 stations.
NBC News had reported last week on a source claiming Sinclair was considering putting O’Reilly on local stations.
O’Reilly has made $45 million worth of payouts in publicly known sexual harassment settlements, according to the New York Times, including one payment alone of $32 million.
O’Reilly was consistently the top draw in cable news during his 21-year run at Fox as host of “The O’Reilly Factor.” That ended in stunning fashion with his ouster in April.
Despite the settlements, he has emphatically denied any wrongdoing.
“It’s horrible what I went through, horrible what my family went through,” he said to the New York Times of the allegations.