Megyn Kelly up against Rachel Maddow with 9 p.m. show, Sean Hannity bumped to 10

The Fox News daytime anchor now competing against Piers Morgan and Rachel maddow

Topics: Fox News, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren,

It’s official: Megyn Kelly is coming to prime time, at 9 p.m.

The Fox News daytime anchor will newly be competing with Piers Morgan on CNN and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC in that hour.

In order to accommodate the former lawyer, who drew praise during election night coverage last year for questioning an incredulous Karl Rove, Sean Hannity heads to 10 p.m. from 9, while Greta Van Susteren moves from 10 to 7 (At 8 p.m., “The O’Reilly Factor,” cable news’s most-watched nighttime show, remains unchanged.) The 7 p.m. hour had until recently been occupied by Shepard Smith, who now takes a roving role as the network’s managing editor.

The domino-like changes in three hours of prime-time represents a striking shake-up for the network in a time of great upheaval for cable news: MSNBC has also recently shifted its prime-time strategy, with Ed Schultz returning from weekends to 5 p.m. and Chris Matthews restricted to a single airing at 7 p.m. The challenges for Fox News are particularly acute; though it still leads in prime time, the network declined year-over-year in August and, that month, posted its lowest monthly ratings in the key 25-54 demographic since August 2001.



Kelly’s prime-time show, “The Kelly File,” sounds — in the network’s argot — not explicitly political: the show, per Fox News, “will focus on late-breaking stories in a live format as well as in-depth investigative reports interspersed with newsmaker interviews.”

Naturally, everyone involved has said they’re happy with the changes at Fox News. Said Kelly: “In 2003, I was an unhappy lawyer, and made a decision to change my life. Ten years later, I’ve been able to do that thanks in large part to Roger Ailes, a boss who always gives me the same directive:  ‘Be yourself and have fun.’”

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

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