Megyn Kelly signs multi-year with NBC News, leaving her home at Fox News

Expect a shakeup on cable news over the coming months

Published January 3, 2017 6:49PM (EST)


In what may bring more “fair and balanced” reporting to NBC News, Fox News host Megyn Kelly is leaving her spot behind a conservative news desk for a new role at NBC.

The New York Times reports that The Kelly File host will  have a “triple role in which she will host her own daytime news and discussion program, anchor an in-depth Sunday night news show and take regular part in the network’s special political programming and other big-event coverage.” 

The as-yet-unnamed one hour daytime program will be developed closely with NBC News colleagues, a network statement read, and will run Monday through Friday. “[Kelly has] demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her,” said NBC News chairman Andrew Lack in a statement.

Details about Kelly's deal and programming were not released, though the Times described the daytime program as a "mix of news, interviews and panel-like discussions" that cover a range of topics, not strictly government and politics. The Sunday night magazine-style program would focus on hard news, including "major political coverage."

Kelly’s move will be a massive change for cable news, bringing another conservative voice to NBC and upending Fox’s prime-time lineup, where Kelly was the second-most watched personality after Bill O'Reilly. Her breadth of news coverage and massive screen time could also draw further ire from President-elect Donald Trump, with whom Kelly has been in a massive feud. Kelly has been fairly vocal about Trump's misogyny, and has also said that she felt threatened by Trump and his followers.

Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, reportedly offered Kelly more than $20 million a year to stay at the network after her contract expires this summer. News of Kelly's impending departure comes just a few months after Fox's founding chairman, Roger Ailes, was ousted following allegations of sexual harassment from female employees, including Kelly.

While Kelly was likely wooed by other major networks, NBC offered the sweetest deal. The Times continued that Lack began negotiations by asking Kelly what she wanted from a career move and offered a deal that was "tailored to her preferences" — including the ability to take her kids to school and have time for dinner with her family.

By Jessica Lipsky

Jessica Lipsky is a cover editor at Salon.

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