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Former Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly eyes New York radio show

The ex-Fox News pundit is expected to debut on New York's WABC-AM later this year.

The ex-Fox News pundit is expected to debut on New York's WABC-AM later this year.

Former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly attends an event in Philadelphia on September 30, 2010. (Photo: World Affairs Council/Flickr Creative Commons, Graphic: The Desk)

Former Fox News Channel commentator Bill O’Reilly is in an advanced stage of negotiations with a New York City radio station to host a conservative talk program.

Financial news outlet CNBC said on Tuesday the former Fox News host is close to signing a contract with Red Apple Media for a show on the company’s flagship radio station WABC (770 AM).

CNBC said the news was confirmed by O’Reilly’s assistant who said the show is expected to be on the air this fall. John Catsimatidis, the businessman behind Red Apple Media, also confirmed O’Reilly’s discussions with his company.

“I think he is one common-sense American,” Catsimatidis told the news outlet.

At Fox News, O’Reilly commanded the highest-rated cable news program in the United States. Once seen as an untouchable force in cable journalism, his lengthy tenure at Fox News came to an end after several former employees accused him and others at the network of sexual harassment.

O’Reilly denied the accusations, but the network canceled his show and asked him to leave after news reports surfaced that detailed hush money paid to several alleged victims.

After leaving the network, O’Reilly brought his brand of staunch conservatism directly to his audience by way of a new website and associated YouTube channel, though neither managed to bring in the sheer number of viewers as his former cable news program.

A deal with WABC would give O’Reilly a traditional media platform that reaches beyond New York City: With its 50,000-watt signal, WABC reaches up and down the East Coast late at night and can be heard clearly throughout the tri-state area during the day.

The show also has the potential to air on other radio stations throughout the country thanks to WABC’s partnership with Westwood One, a program distributor owned by radio broadcast juggernaut Cumulus Media.