O’Reilly has never appeared on CNN but has selected a friendly anchor to speak with for his first interview with the network. Smerconish served as the primary fill-in host for O’Reilly’s now-defunct syndicated radio program for five years and was a guest on O’Reilly’s internet newscast on Wednesday night.
The appearance will be to promote O’Reilly’s upcoming book, “Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence,” which hits stores Sept. 19, according to CNN. The cable news network hasn’t yet announced when O’Reilly will appear on Smerconish’s program.
O’Reilly has been a longtime critic of mainstream media, especially former rivals CNN and MSNBC. He typically only gives interviews to friendly outlets, such as Glenn Beck’s program on “The Blaze.” O’Reilly spoke with the Associated Press in May after “Killing England” was announced and it appears he will broaden his horizons to promote the book, since he doesn’t have roughly four million people tuning into “The O’Reilly Factor” on a nightly basis any more.
Meanwhile, O’Reilly launched a 30-minute online newscast on Wednesday night that was exclusive to premium members of his website at first, but segments have since been released for free and automatically downloaded to the device of anyone who subscribed to O’Reilly’s podcast.
O’Reilly was terminated by Fox in April after it was reported by the New York Times that the network had paid at least $13 million to settle harassment claims against him. He had been the most-watched host in all of cable news for over a decade when he was fired.
O’Reilly denies all wrongdoing.