Megyn Kelly is moving from reality-show royalty to heads of state.
After securing an interview with the Kardashian family, one of the central parts of the lineup of the E! cable network – the new NBC News anchor is expected to try to get some time with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kelly, who only recently joined NBC News after departing Fox News Channel earlier this year, is expected to moderate a session at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that will put her on stage with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, according to NBC News. The conversation “will cover a wide range of global political and economic topics, including international trade agreements, cyber-security and the impact of rising military tensions,” the NBCUniversal unit said. The annual business conference takes place between June 1 and June 3, 2017, and the exact time of the Putin session is expected to be announced in coming weeks.
Kelly is likely to use her access to attempt to secure some side-line time with the chief of state, a person familiar with the matter suggested. Kelly will anchor a Sunday newsmagazine slated to debut in June that NBC News will no doubt try to use to vie with CBS News’ venerable “60 Minutes.”
Getting a sit-down with Putin appears to be a cause celebre among TV-news outfits. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos has been pursuing just such a “get,” and Showtime on Monday announced it would run four hours over consecutive nights in June of interviews that have taken place between director Oliver Stone and the Russian leader.
The announcement is the latest hint about how NBC News intends to utilize Kelly, whose surging popularity at Fox News Channel won her the interest of several rival news outlets last year as she explored other opportunities in the last stage of her contract. Kelly will anchor both the newsmagazine as well as a 9 a.m. weekday morning program.
NBC News seems eager to have her pursue outsize interviews with people from culture and politics that others can’t snare. Such “gets” are the coin of the realm in the TV-news business, and other anchors – whether they be Matt Lauer. George Stephanopoulos or Charlie Rose – also work to secure them. But Kelly appears to have a unique opportunity: she can go after a celebrity profile, or she can attempt to secure a hard-news exchange with a world leader, all because of the two different platforms NBC has offered her.
The network is placing a big bet on her abilities. “60 Minutes” is no slouch on Sundays, and she will in daytime go head to head with a refreshed “Live,” the syndicated ABC program now co-hosted with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest.