Ex-Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly gets new show at Vidgo

Former Fox News Channel personality Bill O'Reilly as he appeared on the inaugural broadcast of Vidgo's "Shock & Awe."
Former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly as he appeared on the inaugural broadcast of Vidgo’s “Shock & Awe.” (Still image courtesy Vidgo, Graphic by The Desk)

Streaming television service Vidgo has signed a deal with conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly that will see the former Fox News Channel personality host a weekly show on the service, The Desk has learned.

The show, called “Shock & Awe,” will debut one new episode per week on Vidgo, a streaming cable television replacement that costs around $60 a month. The first episode became available to stream on Friday.

During the show’s inaugural monologue, O’Reilly told viewers the program is modeled off “Nightbeat,” an interview show hosted by former CBS News reporter Mike Wallace that aired in the 1950s.

“I said, you know, I’m going to resurrect this in homage to Wallace, and I’m going to do it in a way that is unique,” O’Reilly said. “And Vidgo said, okay, and here we are.”

The first episode of the program discussed the dangerous elements of professional football and featured interviews with former National Football League tight end Rob Gronkowski, who also serves as a brand ambassador for Vidgo, and retired quarterback Joe Namath.

A person familiar with the deal said O’Reilly has agreed to produce around 40 shows for Vidgo. Financial terms were not immediately known. The streaming service is expected to announce further details of their agreement with O’Reilly as soon as next week.

The deal with Vidgo is the first to bring O’Reilly back to television since he was dismissed by the Fox News Channel amid a sexual harassment scandal in 2017.  Since his dismissal, O’Reilly has produced his own daily current events program called “No Spin News” that is available to stream on his website. The show is also distributed through Vidgo.

Vidgo’s agreement with O’Reilly comes as the streaming service embraces a new business strategy that targets cord-cutters in America’s heartland. Last week, the company said it was relaunching Vidgo with an emphasis on programming that is of interest to viewers in the middle of the country, including college sports and news.

The service offers access to more than 100 linear channels of content and thousands of hours of on-demand programs from several content partners, including Fox Corporation (Fox News, Fox Business, FS1), the Walt Disney Company (ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel, FX, Freeform, Longhorn Network), A&E Networks (A&E, History Channel, Vice), Warner Bros Discovery, One America News, Newsmax, Pac 12 Networks and others.

Vidgo’s base English-language plan offers around 100 channels for $60 a month. An expanded package includes more sports and specialty networks for $80 a month. A Spanish-language package includes over 40 channels from TelevisaUnivision, Azteca, Warner Bros Discovery and others for $30 a month.