Megyn Kelly, who has anchored Fox News Channel in the afternoon and at night, may have considered trying her hand at mornings – at another network.
Kelly and ABC News discussed the idea of bringing the Fox News anchor over to co-host the Disney network’s “Good Morning America,” according to two people familiar with the talks, which at this point are not believed to be likely to come to fruition. Other ideas to bring Kelly to ABC News were also broached during these conversations, these people said.
ABC and Kelly held “a handful of exploratory talks” in 2016, according to one of these people, with the latest taking place as recently as a few weeks ago. However, ABC’s interest in the scenario has “cooled,” this person said. The conversations made clear to Kelly that she would be added to the on-air team at “GMA,” but not take a spot away from Robin Roberts, who co-anchors the morning program with George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan.
“There has never been an offer of any job,” ABC said in a statement. “End of story.” Vanity Fair previously reported that Kelly and ABC News had held discussions. A spokeswoman for Kelly said the anchor was presented with many opportunities and is taking time to mull her decision.
Kelly, who hosts the popular “Kelly File” on Fox News’ primetime schedule, 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 remain preliminary in nature, and none are guaranteed to result in her leaving the 21st Century Fox-owned network, where she is believed to be under contract to work through July. 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.
ABC may have thought Kelly might lend “GMA” a boost in its never-ending morning news battle with NBC’s “Today.” In recent weeks, that fight has become even more intense, with “Today” beating “Good Morning America” in total viewers for the week ended November 28. “Today” already regularly wins more viewers between 25 and 54, the demographic most coveted by advertisers, but a defeat in the total-audience category would strip “GMA” of its ability to tout itself as America’s most-watched morning program.
To be sure, “GMA” leads “Today” this season, but by a narrow margin of just 129,000 viewers.
ABC has made significant tweaks to “GMA” in recent weeks. On September 6, the network added popular host Michael Strahan to the program on a full-time basis, adding him to the show’s opening with Roberts and Stephanopoulos. Producers have also tweaked the last half hour, adding a live audience to the proceedings.
CNN last week was cited by The Drudge Report as making an attempt to woo Kelly to its fold. A spokeswoman for the Time Warner network declined to comment at the time.
At 21st Century Fox, parent of Fox News, Kelly’s continued presence has been seen 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 won plaudits. That view could have a time frame attached to it: 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.”