A LITTLE LESS O’REILLY…. Bill O’Reilly’s baffling fans will, starting in a few months, just have to settle for his weekday television show, his books, and his weekly newspaper column. His radio show will be no more.

Bill O’Reilly has formally confirmed he’s giving up one of the most successful syndicated radio shows in the country, saying he has just run out of hours in the week.

O’Reilly said the radio show, which he launched in May 2002, will end “in the first quarter of next year.” Most of the time he saves, he said, will go into his top-rated Fox News Channel show.

“The media business is getting more and more intense,” O’Reilly said Thursday. “We’ve got to keep the TV show at the level we have it now, and that means more and more time to keep it competitive and fresh.”

Wait, does this mean Olbermann is actually making O’Reilly worried?

In either case, O’Reilly, reflecting on his radio career, believes he understands why he’s been successful.

“I knew my show couldn’t be ideological,” he said. “Going up against [Rush] Limbaugh, that would be suicidal. Why would a listener who’s already got Rush turn to someone else to hear the same things? So I was doing a show that was fact-based.”

He apparently wasn’t kidding.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.