Megyn Kelly said tonight that she’s not going to be the female version of Bill O’Reilly in that her new Fox News show will be far less opinion driven.
In de-emphasizing opinion journalism, presumably that means she won’t be the female version of Sean Hannity either.
Megyn Kelly is taking over Hannity’s 9 pm Eastern prime slot with her show The Kelly File which debuts next Monday night on the Fox News Channel. As part of the network shakeup, Hannity is moving to 10 pm Eastern, while Greta Van Susteren switches from 10 pm to 7 pm.
Shepard Smith, who previously anchored the 7 to 8 pm slot, will continue his one-hour program at 3 pm and will also be in charge of breaking news throughout the day from a state-of-the-art “news deck studio.” In a memo, Fox News boss Roger Ailes said that “The talent will be more like an NFL quarterback with the ability to call audibles when he sees openings. We will move seamlessly between the teleprompter and storytelling, and the public will have an opportunity to see how the news is being put together and how the programs are built.”
Megyn Kelly returned to the Fox News airwaves for the first time tonight after her maternity leave to preview the new show with Bill O’Reilly.
Before going on leave, Kelly, a former lawyer, was the host of America Live on FNC from 1 to 3 pm Eastern, a gig she’s held since February 2010. She also anchored various high-profile events such as the network’s Election Night coverage.
In the interview (see embed above), O’Reilly claimed Kelly stole the name of her new show from him in that it is was the name of her regular segment on The O’Reilly Factor (which will continue on Thursday nights). “That is correct,” Kelly quipped, “but only because you are always promising me the last word, and you never give it to me, and now I’m going to get it.”
On a slightly more serious note, O’Reilly asked her “is there going to be anything different in The Kelly File than your magnetic presence which will drive numbers through the roof?”
Said Kelly: “It’s going to be a live broadcast… a breaking news program, not an opinion program so I’m not going to be the female Bill [O'Reilly].”
Kelly added that she gave her opinion when necessary on her afternoon show and will continue to do so. “But I’m not going to be someone like you who will outline what needs to happen with the sequester and the [shutdown] and all that. That’s not going to be what I’m there for. But I will present both sides of the view; I want to do it smartly, I want to do it succinctly. I want to synopsize the news for [the audience].”
Megyn Kelly’s move to 9 pm Eastern is bad news for rivals Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) and Piers Morgan (CNN), both of whom are struggling for a foothold in the cable news ratings. According one industry rumor, CNN is looking to dump Morgan in favor of Katie Couric or perhaps someone else with more star power.