Bill O'Reilly, Big Pimpin'

At 26, the future Fox News star just wanted out of Scranton

Bill O'Reilly

View Document

Bill O'Reilly, Big Pimpin'

MARCH 1--The year was 1975 and Bill O'Reilly was a broadcast TV rookie itching to move to a larger market from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

O'Reilly, then 26, worked as the "Action Consumer" troubleshooter for WNEP, the ABC affiliate, and was seeking to decamp to Atlanta or Miami. He apparently had outgrown the Action 16 news team, which operated from offices at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport. So O'Reilly dashed off a letter to a producer at a Washington, D.C. station seeking career advice and possible job leads. "I've done pretty well here," he wrote, "and am confident I can handle myself."

Along with reporting chores, O'Reilly also handled news promotion for the station, noting that "the extra bread comes in handy." In addition to his letter, O'Reilly helpfully included newsclips from a local TV shopper showing that viewers really appreciated his work.

As seen here, O'Reilly was pictured on the shopper's cover in some fly 70s finery--fur collared-coat, dark shirt/dark tie combo, moptop, and what appears to be muttonchops. The yellowing clip and O'Reilly's letter were provided to TSG by relatives of the Washington producer to whom they were sent.

And, yes, we realize that O'Reilly misspelled 'hear' in his letter, so don't bother to write in and point that out. (2 pages)

Comments (1)

What's the deal? A young up-and-coming TV reporter working in small-market area has career ambitions and is trying to make his way up to the big time in a larger city. Nothing rare about that. It just so happens that the guy involved is currently a big star in cable-TV news today.