Fox News anchor and political commentator Megyn Kelly has announced that she will be walking away from her 12-year career at Fox for a rather robust position with NBC News. Kelly, a Rye resident, is taking on a triple role with NBC, where she will be hosting a new daytime program, anchoring “a Sunday evening news magazine program,” and contributing to NBC’s regular breaking news, political, and special events coverage, according to a post on Kelly’s Facebook page.
A best-selling author and, according to The New York Times, the second-most watched television host after Bill O’Reilly, Kelly denied an offer of more than $20 million a year from 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, to stay after her contract expired this summer.
Since rising through the ranks from a legal correspondent 12 years ago, Kelly has been an icon for conservatives. However her decision to move to NBC, a network largely considered by conservative pundits as “liberal,” is not entirely surprising. She was constantly under attack during the 2016 election, after a question she asked during a debate angered Donald Trump. In an interview with NPR, Kelly described a lack of support from her network and colleagues. “No one was able to stop his antics,” she said of Sean Hannity and Fox News founding chairman Roger Ailes.
Her departure, coming this Friday, will undoubtedly upset the network’s prime-time lineup and, coming just a few months after Ailes was ousted over several sexual harassment allegations, leaves Fox with the possibility of no female host during prime time hours.
The move to NBC will bring Kelly a potentially larger audience from a major broadcast network — even though launching a daytime show in a different format can be very difficult for news journalists. As to who may be chosen to fill Kelly’s shoes, the only clue we might have is a tweet from former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, strongly recommending The Five’s co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle.