Image Credits: Credit Stephanie Sinclair for The New York Times
According to a report by the New York Times, Megyn Kelly will be leaving Fox News Channel sometime in 2017 to join NBC News. Kelly, who currently anchors The Kelly File on weekday evenings, was lured to NBC by the network’s chairman, Andrew Lack. The Times further reports that Megyn Kelly was so drawn to NBC because rather than being being offered set roles, Mr. Lack approached the conversation by asking what would work best for her. Megyn Kelly’s new role at NBC will be a “triple role,” in which she will anchor a daytime news and talk show, host an “in-depth” news report on Sunday evenings, and take part in the NBC’s special political programs and event coverage.
Megyn Kelly’s show, The Kelly File, is currently the second-most popular program on Fox News, right behind Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor. As of November 2016, her show was averaging 3.46 million views per night. While this move will alter the entire media landscape, it may hit especially hard after a tumultuous few months for Fox News Channel. In September 2016, Fox settled with Gretchen Carlson, former anchor of The Real Story, over claims that she was sexually harassed by then-Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, who has since been replaced by Rupert Murdoch. In that same month, the host of the primetime show On The Record, Greta Van Susteren, suddenly left the network. Her program was then replaced with Tucker Carlson Tonight as of November 2016.
The news of Kelly’s switch comes shortly after disputes over her contract renewal with Fox went public late last year. At the end of October 2016, Politico reported that Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch said that while he hoped to reach an agreement with Kelly “very soon,” he also realized that Fox News has “a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot” and at the end of the day, “it’s up to her.” Shortly after, she was offered over $20 million to stay with the network, which she clearly did not accept.
Kelly released this statement via her Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon:
An ending, and a new beginning… pic.twitter.com/clyKaDpQTW
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) January 3, 2017