Fox News host Megyn Kelly is leaving the conservative cable news giant for a new position at NBC News.
The news of Kelly’s leap to a new network after 12 years at Fox News was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed in a statement by NBC. It had been rumored for months that Kelly was seeking a salary upwards of $20 million to make a move, but details of her deal with NBC were not immediately known.
Andrew Lack, the chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, confirmed the news of Kelly’s “multiyear agreement” with his network in an official statement moments after the Times report.
“Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career,” Lack said in the statement. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”
Kelly’s new position will combine three roles: hosting a Monday-Friday daytime news show, anchoring a Sunday nightly news show and becoming a regular part of the network’s political programming and coverage of other big events.
Shortly after, Kelly released the following statement on her official Facebook page:
“Over a dozen years ago I started at Fox News in a job that would change my life. Now, I have decided to end my time at FNC, incredibly enriched for the experiences I’ve had. I have agreed to join NBC News, where I will be launching a new daytime show Monday through Friday, along with a Sunday evening news magazine program. I will also participate in NBC’s breaking news coverage and its political and special events coverage.
While I will greatly miss my colleagues at Fox, I am delighted to be joining the NBC News family and taking on a new challenge. I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters. More to come soon.
Happy New Year, and God bless.”
Kelly, who has anchored Fox News’ “The Kelly File” since 2013, skyrocketed toward the upper ranks of Fox News’ roster of onscreen talent over the past few years, eclipsed in ratings only by longtime Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. And she became a household name during President-elect Donald Trump’s long and caustic campaign battle, during which the pair sparred several times.
Her public feud with Trump, which kicked off when she served as moderator during a debate of the Republican presidential nominees in August 2015, kept her in the spotlight in a way unprecedented throughout her tenure at Fox.
During that now infamous debate, Kelly questioned Trump about his history of sexist remarks about women, referencing instances when he had referred to them as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Trump later lashed out at Kelly, saying that during the debate she had “blood coming out of her wherever.”
Kelly was among at least 20 women whose allegations of sexual harassment surfaced after fellow Fox News commentator Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, in July 2016. The ensuing scandal ultimately led to his resignation.
Reaction to the news was swift and divided on social media. Several Fox News viewers lamented the loss of Kelly, worrying about how that time slot would fare without her. Many liberals questioned whether her coverage would still allegedly skew conservative at NBC News or if that aspect of her work would be left behind at Fox.
Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, wished Kelly well with her future endeavors in a brief statement Tuesday.
“We thank Megyn Kelly for her 12 years of contributions to FOX News. We hope she enjoys tremendous success in her career and wish her and her family all the best,” he said.
Her previous work at Fox News consisted of helping to create and anchoring “America Live,” a two-hour solo afternoon show, and co-anchoring “America’s Newsroom” with colleague Bill Hemmer.
Before joining Fox News, Kelly worked as a general assignment reporter for Washington, D.C.-based WJLA-TV and practiced law for Jones Day and Bickel & Brewer.
She studied political science at Syracuse University and received her JD from Albany Law School.