With the stunning news that Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News, the big question is: What's next for "The Factor" host?

Despite being the top-rated cable news host for the past 15 years, the opportunities appear surprisingly thin. 

CNN? 

No chance. 

MSNBC? 

Insert joke here. 

His former home at CBS News? 

Try again. 

His former home of ABC News? 

Absolutely not. 

A walk across the street to NBC News for a reunion with Megyn Kelly? 

Rhetorical question. 

So what's left? 

Some right-leaning outlets are looking for a big name.

Newsmax is a possibility. The network has a studio in Manhattan and may be looking for a big name. (Disclosure: I co-hosted a roundtable panel show there for a year in 2015).

ADVERTISEMENT
But is owner Chris Ruddy willing to pay the kind of money O'Reilly would ask for? Even at a 50 percent discount, we're still talking approximately $9 million per year and a PR headache to boot.

 

One America News Network, the San Diego news outlet that gave conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren her start, is also a possible landing place. OANN is independent, family-owned (see: no shareholders to answer to), and available in 35 million homes.

In contrast, Fox News is available in 90 million homes.

Again, the question is: Are the owners, the Herring family, willing to make a big investment at the risk of advertisers being shamed or boycotted by left-wing activist groups?

And then there's the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting, which may have the deepest pockets and the most reach by being in 81 markets across the country. But again, there's big risk in signing O'Reilly, given the target he'll have on his back for the rest of his career.

At 67, O'Reilly may choose to take some time off to weigh his next move. Perhaps he'll simply disappear from public view like former CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes did last year at age 76 last year.

But that's not O'Reilly's style.

He appears to be a workaholic instead. When he isn't hosting his show, he's co-authoring another best-seller and promoting it on other networks. And when he isn't doing that, he's touring the country with Dennis Miller and Jesse Watters doing sold-out comedy shows.

Anyone who has done O'Reilly's job for the past 21 years simply doesn't go quietly.

Providing opinion and commentary while interviewing names big and small on a nightly basis is his oxygen.

The question now is: What outlet is willing to give him a platform to exhale? 

Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.