Friday, December 05, 2008
Bill O'Reilly has formally confirmed he's giving up one of the most successful syndicated radio shows in the country, saying he has just run out of hours in the week.
O'Reilly said the radio show, which he launched in May 2002, will end "in the first quarter of next year." Most of the time he saves, he said, will go into his top-rated Fox News Channelshow.
"The media business is getting more and more intense," O'Reilly said Thursday. "We've got to keep the TV show at the level we have it now, and that means more and more time to keep it competitive and fresh. I've been working 60, 65 hours a week and I just can't keep doing that."
Nationally, O'Reilly's radio show is carried on 430 stations, including WOR (710 AM) in New York). Talkers magazine estimates his weekly audience at more than 3.5 million, putting him in the national top 10, and while no official figures are available on advertising, executives close to the show described it as very profitable.
O'Reilly said he had "a great time" doing the radio show, and will miss the listeners.
"Radio is more intimate," he said. "TV has more power, because of the images, but you can say things on radio you wouldn't say on TV. It's less formal.
"The one thing I found about radio listeners is you can't talk down to them. You have to respect them."
He said he also found that radio listeners don't just want a host who preaches their viewpoint.
"I knew my show couldn't be ideological," he said. "Going up against [Rush ] Limbaugh, that would be suicidal. Why would a listener who's already got Rush turn to someone else to hear the same things?...(Click for remainder).