Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly could jump to CNN when her contract expires next July given CNN’s reported willingness to do almost whatever it takes to bring her over to the competing cable network.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, speculation emerged that Kelly could compete directly on the Time Warner-owned channel against former mentor Bill O’Reilly in the coveted 8 p.m. Eastern Monday-through-Friday time slot.
Megyn Kelly’s show, The Kelly File, at 9 p.m. Eastern originated as a legal-oriented weekly segment on The O’Reilly Factor. There has been speculation that O’Reilly and Kelly, who previously anchored in the afternoon, have had a falling out since then, a possible clash of egos that would not be unprecedented in the television universe.
O’Reilly averages about 3.1 million viewers a night (which spiked to 4 million last month), with Kelly getting slightly less than that, which nonetheless blows away their counterparts on MSNBC and CNN. Tucker Carlson’s new 7 p.m. FNC show, which replaced the program anchored by Greta Van Susteren placeholder Brit Hume, has also generated huge ratings.
Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch recently stirred the pot by saying that he hopes the anchor and former corporate lawyer inks the new Fox contract very soon, adding that FNC has a deep bench with qualified in-house talent (including personalities such as Judge Jeanine Pirro and former prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle, among others) who could take over the 9 p.m. program if Kelly decides to move on.
TV Newser pointed that Fox News continues to dominate, however, which could factor, as it were, into Megyn Kelly’s future career plans.
“During the month of November, Fox News claimed 14 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and 13 of the top 15 in the 25-54 demo, which is preferred by advertisers of news programs. Perhaps more surprisingly, FNC also had the top five cable news programs in the younger 18-49 demo, with eight shows ranked in the top 10, more than any other cable news network.”
According to what an insider told the Drudge Report today, CNN wants Megyn badly, and Kelly is supposedly very tempted to make the jump.
“CNN President Jeff Zucker is actively [pursuing] FOX star Megyn Kelly to anchor 8 or 9 PM on his network, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. And Kelly might just say, YES!
“‘He is moving the Himalayan mountains to get her,’ a top insider explains. ‘But they are tripped up on money. He simply can’t pay her the $20 million a year FOX has on the table.’
“For Kelly, a move to Columbus Circle would represent a fresh break from a turbulent 18 months at FOX NEWS. And the chance to go directly against arch-nemesis Bill O’Reilly will be hard to resist.”
Although the $5 million raise that Fox has offered Kelly (aka Bill O’Reilly money) is apparently an issue standing in the way of a possible CNN move, CNN has the ability to give her wide-ranging exposure across multiple platforms, the insider claimed.
“Zucker at CNN would compensate her salary with heavy promotion and synergy across all TIME WARNER outlets. A top source close to the action describes how Megyn would be an immediate international star at CNN. ‘It’s the opportunity of lifetime.’ She could even star in a movie at WARNER BROS.”
Some Megyn Kelly critics contend that when she famously accused Trump of misogyny in the first GOP presidential debate in August of 2015 (and which prompted a long-running feud), it was more about careerism and burnishing her credentials for CNN or another network than a legitimate journalistic inquiry. In the intervening months, The Kelly File has featured a lot of anti-Donald Trump content, in contrast to much of what is presented on bookend programs anchored by O’Reilly and Sean Hannity (who was bumped from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. about three years ago to make room for Megyn Kelly)
Kelly is currently promoting her memoir Settle for More, a book that O’Reilly implied last month during an appearance on CBS This Morning was making the Fox News Channel look bad, given its coverage of the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal.
“The anchor is ‘despised’ by fellow on-air talent. And FOX insiders describe how it’s gotten only worse since the release of her book, which is expected to end the holidays under 500,000 total copies sold. [Megyn refused to promote her book on both O’Reilly and Hannity, foreshadowing a move.],” the Drudge source added.
It’s also conceivable that a leak of this nature is merely designed to give Kelly more leverage over Fox News in the negotiations.
As alluded to above, Megyn Kelly’s critics expect her to gravitate more in the liberal direction if she jumps to CNN, similar to what has allegedly occurred with Alisyn Camerota whose point of view seems to have changed significantly since going from Fox to CNN.
Do you think that when push comes to shove, Megyn Kelly, 45, will jump to CNN or stay with Fox News as the host of The Kelly File, which launched as a standalone show in October of 2013?
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]