Rupert Murdoch Says He Wants Megyn Kelly, Bill O’Reilly to Stay at Fox News

Megyn Kelly
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Keeping Megyn Kelly at Fox News is a top priority for Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of the cable-news outlet’s parent company, 21st Century Fox – but he’d like her to express a similar sentiment.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal in an interview, the media mogul said he is eager to keep Kelly at the network, but noted “we have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot.” Kelly, the Journal said, is seeking a salary of more than $20 million a year, compared with what is said to be $15 million in the last year of a contract slated to expire in July of 2017. That amount would put her salary on par with that of Bill O’Reilly, who Murdoch said he also wanted to keep. O’Reilly’s contract is believed to last through next year. The executive said money was not an issue in the company’s talks with Kelly and her representatives at Creative Artists Agency.

A spokeswoman for the anchor could not be reached for comment. A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Murdoch’s comments are the strongest signal yet that his company does not intend to make significant programming changes at Fox News Channel despite the recent departure of the network’s architect Roger Ailes. Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, left the company in July after multiple women made allegations that he harassed them sexually. Ailes denied the charges, but the parent company ousted him after an internal probe drew accusations from female Fox News employees.

“We’re not changing direction,” Murdoch said in the interview. Doing so, he added, “would be business suicide.” The Fox News unit accounts for approximately 20% of the parent company’s operating income.

Fox News does have one looming challenge on its schedule: What to do with its 7 p.m. hour, which veteran anchor Brit Hume is filling temporarily until Election Day. Hume returned to a regular slot at the network in September after Greta Van Susteren opted to leave after trying to negotiate a new contract with Fox News spurred by the presence of a clause in her pact that allowed her to leave if Ailes were to depart.

Keeping O’Reilly and Kelly, however, is the more urgent matter. The two anchors outdraw their competitors significantly in viewership. Kelly, a former attorney who has a widely anticipated book set to come out on November 15, is of particular interest because she views herself as more of a journalist than a pundit and has proven herself willing to question Republican policies and lawmakers. Sean Hannity, who anchors Fox News’ 10 p.m. slot, has supported Republican candidate Donald Trump through his many travails in the election cycle. Kelly is viewed as a someone who might help Fox News maintain its appeal to a younger generation of Republican viewers that has different views on matter of gender, race and class. O’Reilly, meanwhile is one of cable’s most durable draws of audience, even with 20 years on the air under his belt.

Murdoch said he hopes to work out a new agreement with Kelly “very soon,” but said, “it’s up to her.” There has been much speculation in recent months that Kelly might fit in well at Time Warner’s CNN or even at Walt Disney’s ABC News, where she might prove an interesting presence on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Whether the nation’s news aficionados might welcome her in those roles remains to be seen. A recent celebrity-interview special that aired on the Fox broadcast network underwhelmed, and there has not been new word from Fox News whether Kelly would continue to produce those programs. Under a plan unveiled in 2015, Kelly was to have done a series of specials in which she would interview newsmakers and celebrities. She suggested she hoped to emulate Barbara Walters.

But Kelly continues to make a splash. Earlier this week, an interview she conducted with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich lit up social media and morning talk shows.  The two sparred over whether or not Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a sexual predator. Even CNN ran with that story – but referred to Kelly only as a “Fox News anchor” in on-screen graphics.

 

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  1. Get rid of Megan Kelly. Her ego overrides her ability to function effectively as a journalist. She takes her “holier than thou” attitude toward men to a new level. It is fortunate she is on at 9:00 p.m. – she makes a perfect alarm clock that it is time to go to sleep!

  2. Get rid of Megyn Kelly now. A pretty ace is not what FOX news needs. Loyalty is what the party needs to get Clinton, not someone’s personal ambitions.

  3. Sandra J. says:

    Megan Kelly rocks! She challenges the stale, worn out policies of the old Republican Party. Face it–Trump will lose and the Republican Party will have to reorganize and reach out to minorities. I think that Ana Navarro would be a fabulous addition–she’s smart, outspoken, and would help Fox with minority outreach. The party has got to get with the program. Please get rid of that idiot Hannity while you’re reorganizing. He’s a racist pig along with Newt, Guiliani and Trump–they all gotta go!

  4. c. huber says:

    Murdoch better watch out, he has enjoyed success with FOX for years due to O’riley and Hannity and not the POS Kelly. Lots of people I know are turning off her show and if she stays on FOX they say the will turn off FOX for good. History shows a small mistake can destroy a empire.

  5. debbie carpenter says:

    I understand that you try to be fair and balanced. It is a shame that the others don’t follow suit. It is disgusting. And I only switch to the other channels to see their take on the leading news subjects of the day. I see the large contrast of conservative bias. Sometimes it really upsets me and I turn it all off! I am tired of seeing and hearing basically editorials from the leading news anchors or show hosts. I really have a hard time with Meagan Kelly at times. I don’t think this is a word,but using it anyway- Smerky attitude like judge and jurist. Started off the 1st debate with a crappy question to Donald Trump, you could have let the democrats go for that one. I would rather of heard a more substantive question like major concern issues. Not inquiring minds on a national level. A time and place. I expected better. You kind of get the feeling “someones” trying to make a name for themselves during a critical time for this country. We deserve better than that. I really thought the so called interview with Newt got very uncomfortable because Megan put herself in a corner with her accusation of “sexual predator” and how she likes to keep bringing it up. Newt was right as soon as we get into some substantive discussions between the 2 major candidates they water is muddled up again. I do not condone sexual crimes, but we should not be ruining lives over someone who talks about something in private(probably b.s. basically) If there is any validity to the women who all came out during Trump’s Candidacy they should go through the proper channels like Bill Clinton’s accusers. A time and a place! We have a lot of major transitional issues that has and will effect the rest of our lives. We do not need to cloud thing with unsubstantiated claims, especially since there are plenty factual issues with the Clinton’s.! Maybe people are afraid of getting hurt by them. Thanks for listening. I will keep listening to fair people. Your Truly, D.Carpenter

  6. Marsha says:

    I love Megan Kelly but quit watching her broadcast. My views on the world are much different and I can’t justify spending time watching someone who seems intolerant to other opinions. Sorry to see her go but not worth the money she wants. I bet CNN would take her and offer that big $20m she wants.

  7. Barbara Woltz says:

    Mr. Murdoch, do us a favor. Replace Megan Kelly with Jeanine Perro, then you’ll have a line-up worth watching. She is direct, without being arrogant, has a personality and a joy to watch.

    • Sarah Goodman says:

      And she’s aggressive without having mental problems. Megyn Kelly seems to have something wrong with her brain-box and it’s projecting hostility all over the airwaves with everything she does.

  8. Elle says:

    We no longer watch Megyn Kelly. Besides being smug, condescending and dishonest, she is neither fair or balanced. There is a boycott in the works. The American people are fed up with “pretenders.”

  9. pickles says:

    Fox,let her go.

    • Sarah Goodman says:

      That’s funny you should say “let her go,” because she reminds me of Elsa from “Frozen,” i.e. a psycho ice-queen.

  10. Thomas says:

    You can keep Shawn. Kelly must go! She has lost her sense of fair balance. It is obvious she want to even up with Donald.

    • Sarah Goodman says:

      I don’t think Donald Trump did anything to her, more like she’s got skeletons in her closet that Trump triggers, and she poking the wrong bear.

  11. John L. says:

    M Kelly is a horror show. She’s the most egotistic ratings hound I have ever seen. Shannon Bream is a smart and excellent journalist. She’s everything M Kelly is not.

  12. Jennifer W says:

    Bring Greta back. She was honest and real. Megyn is a egotistical gas-bag like O’Reilly, but he’s credible. Kelly needs to pack her bags and move over to CNN or MSNBC with the other libs. She’s just another liberal waiting to latch on to the MSM tit.

  13. Dale Ludwig says:

    If Kelly stays I go!

    • Sarah Goodman says:

      Exactly, Murdoch can pay her to keep on sleeping with him, but he can’t pay me enough to keep watching her. I think she’s just angry because she had sex for career-advancement and now she hates Trump because he jilted her.

  14. Connie Holcomb says:

    Get rid of Kelly. She is a know it all!! Smart mouth

  15. Brexit says:

    20 million a year – no way. Hit the door. You belong at CNN anyway with your hillary crush.

  16. BillUSA says:

    They can afford to lose her. Hell, they can afford to lose O’Reilly. Anybody is replaceable – even myself. I think Martha McCallum has put enough time in to get the 7pm gig or perhaps Bill Hemmer. They’re both intelligent and mature on-air personalities. I certainly don’t miss Greta’s shrill, shrieking voice although I have respect for her abilities.

    • Sarah Goodman says:

      90% of the audience only watches women on Fox for their looks, it’s why they parade them in such bimbo-makeovers.

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