Megyn Kelly Fields Early Offers From Rivals: Could She Go to CNN?

Megyn Kelly
Courtesy of Fox News

Megyn Kelly has long delivered the news. Now, as her contract talks with Fox News continue, she will be forced to make a major decision about where she ought to be doing it.

The popular anchor, whose “Kelly File” on Fox News snared 754,000 viewers between 25 and 54 in November, a new high, is entertaining offers from a handful of rival outlets, according to people familiar with the matter — part of an agreement with her employer that gives her a window to hear outreach from other networks. Most of the talks are very preliminary in nature, and none are guaranteed to come to fruition. Kelly, who has three young children, is said to be concerned most about what’s best for her family. She could well stay at Fox News, where she is believed to be seeking approximately $20 million a year — a top-level salary in the TV-news business that would be hard to match elsewhere.

As she is in the midst of promoting her New York Times bestseller, “Settle for More,” with a book tour, Kelly must also decide whether to stay at the network that made her a star or try something new.

Could one of those places be CNN? The prospect was raised earlier Thursday when The Drudge Report posted an account suggesting Kelly was considering an offer from the Time Warner-owned cable-news outlet. A CNN spokeswoman declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Kelly. A Fox News representative could not be reached for immediate comment.

Finding a slot at CNN for Kelly could require some lineup shuffling. The network recently signed a new deal with Anderson Cooper, who at present anchors two hours a night between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has recently offered effusive praise for Don Lemon, who has hosted two hours between 10 p.m. and midnight during the election. And then there are all those documentaries and non-fiction series CNN has invested in to use as primetime programming for when the news cycle cools down.

In the wake of a stunning election cycle that gripped the nation, that has yet to happen. People familiar with the network characterize the original series as a type of programming insurance for when the big stories of the day aren’t big enough to capture massive viewership. If that’s the case, these people speculate, Kelly could find a place in CNN’s lineup. There’s also the chance that Zucker, long known for his willingness to experiment with new formats, might try something different with Kelly. “She’s an immense talent,” Zucker told Variety earlier this year. “She’d be a tremendous asset to any organization she’s with.”

Leaving Fox News might be tough. The Murdoch family, which controls the network’s parent, 21st Century Fox, sees Kelly’s presence on air as a nod to a rising generation of audience that is interested in a greater diversity of viewpoints. Her willingness to grill Republican guests and push back on conventional wisdom has been good for Fox, which has one of TV’s older set of viewers.

At the same time, there has been public friction at several points in the recent past between Kelly and two of her most prominent colleagues. Both Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, who anchor the hours before and after “The Kelly File,” respectively, have called her out — Hannity on social media and O’Reilly on “CBS This Morning,” where he suggested her recent book revived a recent controversy at Fox News involving sexual harassment allegations against former chief executive Roger Ailes. He has denied charges levied at him, though the allegations eventually resulted in his ouster from the network.

To be sure, there there may be risks in holding out too long. Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, told The Wall Street Journal in October that Kelly was important to the network, but that he hoped to come to terms with her “very soon.” He also noted that Fox News has “a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot.”

Kelly is working with a team at Creative Artists Agency to determine her next steps.  Among her representatives is Matt DelPiano, who has typically represented actors including Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin. Alan Berger, a veteran of TV-news deals, is also involved, but it’s DelPiano with whom Kelly is said to be close. Where they take her remains to be seen. Her existing contract with Fox News extends until July of 2017.

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  1. joseph vastano says:

    good for her she will not geet the people to watch her like fox and i think she is arrorgnat

  2. Brenda McKnight says:

    CNN please take Kelly! I love to watch fox news but Megan has ruined my favorite news chan. She keeps smashing Trump and his family that is fine if she will go to CNN the chan. We deplorables don’t watch.. You can have her angry,tepid hatred,jealousy.

  3. Lynn says:

    If Megyn were a man, she would be supported. Because she is talented, articulate and outspoken, men call her a “b…..”. I applaude you Megyn. Whatever you choose to do, you will be met with success. I wish you continued good luck.

  4. Maggie Pascal says:

    Go straight to MSNBC and never look back Megyn, that’s where you belong. What a beautiful day that will be!

  5. Larry says:

    Megan Kelly got a BooBoo from Donald Trump and became a Hillary supporter. She must have realized that she was flirting with my grand daughter having to share a bathroom with a male pervert or ultra late abortion that christians would be forced to fund even though they were sickened with the barbaric idea. Can you spell Supreme Court Nominee. Even animals don’t kill their young. Megan needs to go. Fox news….Save your money and get rid of Megan Kelly. She can’t handle the heat. BTW your book should come with a pacifier. Very boring.

  6. Karen Fowler says:

    Megan should go to CNN.

  7. Eugene Villa says:

    Hope she leaves today. Self centered b……..

  8. Eric says:

    Good! She belongs on some lib-tard fascist propaganda channel. Done.

  9. Rudy Mario says:

    Leaving the creepy network is best. But with that kind of money whoever employs her will naturally want ROI and that could be a challenge.

  10. Ken Medley says:

    Megyn has earned the right to move on. She is sure to challenge the boys and we will see.

    please leave as soon as possible. Thanks

  11. PLEASEleaveFox says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  12. Cole says:

    She won’t be missed.

  13. T0rchwood says:

    She’s a bleeding heart liberal and would fit right in on the Clinton news network. Just check her Amazon book reviews to see how much she won’t be missed on Fox. Don’t let the door hit you on the azz on the way out….

  14. Nao West says:

    Sooner she leaves Fox News the better. The only reason she was able to build up the viewership she has at Fox news is due to the tremendous lead in her program receives from the O’Reilly Factor each night. If it wasn’t for the coveted time slot people would be saying Megyn who?

  15. Matt says:

    I don’t believe this for a second. Her ratings are low and there’s no way she’s worth twice as much as Anderson Cooper.

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