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NBC News Lands Megyn Kelly, and Will Have Much for Her to Do
January 3, 2017  | By Ed Bark  | 2 comments

After a high profile year in which she feuded with Donald Trump and joined the chorus against deposed Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes, star player Megyn Kelly is leaving the network that put her in the spotlight and joining forces with NBC News.

NBCUniversal News Group chairman Andrew Lack made the announcement Tuesday. Her last edition of FNC’s The Kelly File, which she has anchored since Oct. 7, 2013, is scheduled to be on Friday, Jan. 6th. Kelly originally joined the conservative-leaning “Fair and Balanced” network in 2004.

The 46-year-old Kelly’s “multi-year” deal with NBC includes a new one-hour daytime program airing from Monday through Friday plus a Sunday evening news magazine show. Her new employer says Kelly also will be “an important contributor” to NBC’s breaking news, political and special events coverage. Further details on her new programs will be “unveiled in the coming months,” NBC says.

“Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career,” Lack says in a statement. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Kelly, who also released an autobiography, Settle For More, in November, has grown into one of network TV news’ hottest commodities since launching The Kelly File. But in August 2015, she became a mega-star while co-moderating a debate with then Republican candidate Trump and other GOP hopefuls. He bridled when she challenged Trump’s past characterizations of women as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Trump said those characterizations were reserved for Rosie O’Donnell, with whom he has long feuded. He later said of Kelly, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

The two of them later made up, sort of, when Trump agreed to be interviewed on her first and only Fox broadcast network special, which aired in May of 2016. But things flared up again between them after Kelly questioned if Trump could be labeled a “sexual predator” after he claimed in a 2005 Access Hollywood “hot-mic” tape that he could grope women wherever and whenever he wanted because of his star status.

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich, during an interview on The Kelly File, then upbraided the host for being “fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy.” Trump, who said his controversial comments were mere “locker room banter,” later praised Gingrich for confronting Kelly.

Sexual harassment also was at issue when Kelly supported former FNC colleague Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Ailes, who allegedly had made a series of improper advances toward her. Ailes has denied any wrongdoing but was later dismissed by FNC in connection with the allegations.

Kelly, who says in her Settle For More memoir that Ailes also sexually harassed her, cooperated in an internal investigation of her former boss. Her behind-closed-door “testimony” was seen as key to Ailes’ downfall. He likewise has denied Kelly’s allegations via a statement from his attorney, Susan Estrich, who ironically ran Michael Dukakis’ failed 1988 presidential campaign when Ailes was George H.W. Bush’s top media advisor.

Network television “raids” of rivals’ talent have been rare in recent years. And when they’ve occurred, FNC generally has been the aggressor -- mostly with ABC. Chris Wallace, Brit Hume and John Stossel, all still with FNC, were lured from the alphabet network. NBC has been on the losing end before, but it’s been a while. Back in 2006, Katie Couric left the network to become sole anchor of The CBS Evening News. That didn’t work out for CBS. And in the week her old network has hired Kelly, Couric finds herself back at Today co-hosting with Matt Lauer for a week on the occasion of his 20-year anniversary with the show.

FNC offered Kelly more than $20 million a year to stay at the network, according to the New York Times. Its report said that NBC could not afford to match that money, but compensated in part by offering Kelly a wider range of possibilities on a network with a larger audience.

NBC’s statement on Kelly’s hiring says that all four of its major news division properties -- Today, Nightly News, Meet the Press and Dateline -- are number one among 25-to-54-year-olds (the main advertiser target audience for news programming) and 18-to-49-year-olds.

FNC has had no immediate comment on Kelly’s departure.

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Mark Isenberg
When Megyn was hosting America Now at 2pm weekdays,most folks paid no mind as it was more about lawyers debating Obama stuff. You could tell she was going places but she broke little news at night and the danger of NBC News remains a daytime show in which it will be a morph of more lawyers,a View alternative and her love for her three children. She is going to have to express herself or it will be as tepid as Katie C.,Jane P. and early on,Gayle K.
Jan 4, 2017   |  Reply
So where to put Kelly? If she gets an extended Today slot-more news,less puff- as a trade for increased persoanl time away,that's a plus for her,but will severely diminish her cred as a real news person. The Sunday show? Opposite 60 minutes? Flexible during football and could give her the needed numbers to support her salary-that might work.No mention of any involvement with MSNBC,though a pairing with Rachel Maddow would be a hoot as Rachael has preperation,fact checking and conviction in everythng she tackles,while Kelly seems a soft news reader who comes off as no there there.
Anyway, bad nes for Fox News is always a good news and pretty much puts to rest rumors of Billlo leaving. Will Hannity try to reclaim his old 9PM slot now that he seems to have Trump's ear? My guess is not. Rupert's kids seemed to like that more news/less opinon @9 even with the exit of Ailes,and still like a blonde female on camera to keep Gramps from searching around for old Matlock reruns.
Jan 4, 2017   |  Reply
Ooops. That's Shannon Bream,not Shield. Married to Sid Breams brother. Both attended Falwell U.-err,Liberty U. Go Flames!
Jan 7, 2017
Ed-The Carlson move makes sense as he had a pretty decent audience from day one. The new prime time line up is Billo to Tucker(sans bow tie since 2014. I had to endure an Alex Jones interview for the reason-Eww! Did he sell his collection to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal?)to Insannity. All male. All white. Alt-right. Tryin' to make that "alt-left" thing a thing. If the alt-right promotes "White Supremacy",does the alt-left promote "Everyone Else Supremacy"? And if we are all Supreme,does that mean we all get a trophy just for trying?
The stop gap for the 7PM slot is Martha MacCallum hosting a show around Trump's first 100 days. MacCallum fits the Fox News profile:female,blonde, and no pant suits. After Day 101? TBA.
Another triple A minor leaguer for Fox,replacing MacCallum's job,is Shannon Shield-blonde female lawyer with beauty pageant cred-a Fox News plus.
Rumor about Kelly-The end of Days of Our Lives.
Jan 7, 2017
Tucker Carlson, who's been around the block previously with both CNN and MSNBC, is getting the Megyn Kelly slot. His show, which premiered at 7 eastern in mid-November, will move back two hours. The perils of NBC daytime are reflected in previous misfires by Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric and Jane Pauley. An extension of the "Today" brand probably would be the most viable option, although not sure if Kelly can fully go the soft-serve "lifestyles" route.
Jan 5, 2017
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