First scoop of 2017: Megyn Kelly jumps to NBC
The hugely popular Fox News host will get a daytime show
January 4, 2017
NBC has won the Megyn Kelly sweepstakes.
The network has made a deal with Kelly, the in-demand Fox News Channel host whose contract is up this year.
For months, rumors have swirled over where Kelly would end up, with a number of networks in hot pursuit. Many of those rumors had Fox News, where she’s been for the past 12 years, as the frontrunner willing to offer the most money.
But NBC apparently had a deal Kelly couldn’t turn down – a chance to not just host a weekday show but also get her own primetime platform on the network, broadening her reach beyond cable.
NBC confirmed the deal this afternoon, as did Kelly’s publicist, after The New York Times first reported the signing.
Two new NBC shows
The deal includes a daytime news program for Kelly, though it’s not clear whether it will be offered via syndication or as a daytime program like “Today.” NBC said she will work with others in NBC News on the show.
It will mark a departure from Kelly’s largely political primetime show, “The Kelly File,” one of the most-watched news programs on cable. The daytime show will explore entertainment and lighter news topics.
The Sunday night primetime newsmagazine Kelly will host will focus more on hard news.
Kelly will also be used as an analyst on breaking news and big events such as political debates, giving her a big presence on NBC.
It’s not clear what her salary will be, though it’s doubtful it would be anywhere near the more than $20 million per year FNC has reportedly offered.
Kelly had hinted that salary wasn’t her main concern. She’s more interested in doing the things that interest her and reaching a larger audience.
The lingering stench with Roger Ailes
Some have also wondered if her experience with Roger Ailes, the FNC founder who left the network over the summer amidst allegations of sexual harassment, would color her decision.
Kelly alleged in her recent memoir that Ailes harassed her, too, and that was seen as a catalyst for his ultimate exit. The Lachlan brothers who preside over Fox News were eager to keep Kelly happy, as she was seen as the future of the network.
The next big question, with Kelly’s destination settled, will be what happens to her 9 p.m. spot on Fox News.
Kelly has been one of the more independent voices on conservative FNC, and she clashed with Donald Trump throughout the presidential campaign.
She has also reportedly fought with Bill O’Reilly, Fox News’ top-rated host, who seemed to diss her during an interview with CBS News last year after the Ailes allegations emerged.
CNN and ABC were also top contenders for Kelly, who expressed interest in a more flexible schedule to spend time with her family.
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