Westwood One, Fox News Radio vying for O’Reilly affiliates

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The New York Post reports that former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani may be replacing Bill O’Reilly at Westwood One after he ends his 12-2 PM radio show 3/1—see RBR observation, below. Apparently, they are at least negotiating with him. “Giuliani, who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, famously ridiculed a ferret owner on the radio in 1999, calling him "deranged." Some wonder if Rudy could sit for two-three hours a day chitchatting about politics,” said the story. The other question raised was how his possible gubernatorial run in 2010 would affect the quality and longevity of the show. No confirmation from Westwood.


Meanwhile, Fox News Radio says it will replace Bill O’Reilly’s 12-2 PM ET time slot with John Gibson on 1/19. Seems both Westwood One and FNR want to keep the current affiliations. Gibson’s show will then be called “Gibson on Fox.” The revamped show will provide a mix of news and segments from “The John Gibson Show,” (his current radio show) as well as Gibson’s very opinionated commentary on the day’s news–along with newsmakers from the political and business worlds.

RBR/TVBR observation: Here is what we found out is going on. Westwood is trying to sign a two month extension with O’Reilly. That show will continue through February over the Westwood One Radio Network if the deal gets done. Meanwhile, Fox News Radio is telling O’Reilly affiliates to sign on for Gibson beginning 1/19, or when O’Reilly goes away. We think Westwood is hoping affiliates will stay on through February and transition over to Giuliani. But, can Westwood afford Giuliani right now? We will see.