EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Fox News Channel is finalizing new deals with its two biggest stars, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The new multi-year, multi-million dollar agreements, which are expected to be completed by early next week, will take both hosts past their 20-year mark at the cable news network. O’Reilly and Hannity have been key to FNC’s primetime ratings dominance. O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor is the highest rated show in cable news, a position it has held for 125 consecutive months, followed by Hannity. On Monday, The O’Reilly Factor drew 2.8 million viewers and Hannity 2.1 million for another 1-2 finish among all cable news programs.
Both O’Reilly and Hannity have been with Fox News Channel since its launch in October 1996. O’Reilly started off with The O’Reilly Report, which was soon renamed The O’Reilly Factor. Hannity was the co-host of Hannity & Colmes before going solo with Hannity three years ago. Both Hannity & Colmes and Hannity have aired at 9 PM, making Hannity the only personality currently on cable news to have remained in the same time slot. O’Reilly, whose previous contract was up at the end of this year, was asked in February about the prospect of him staying at Fox News. “We’ll see what happens,” he told Multichannel News. “It’s a matter of how I’m feeling physically and how the company sees my role going forward.”