As we learned yesterday, Megyn Kelly is out at Fox.
It was a long road that led to her decision, and it likely began with the first Republican Presidential debate. As many of you remember, she began with a question directed at Donald Trump, asking him about previous comments he had made about women. Trump joked that he had only made such comments about Rosie O’Donnell.
From that point on a feud between the two developed for the course of nearly a year after. While the two eventually made up and Trump appeared in an interview on her show, Kelly had alienated a large portion of her audience with the feud – and many of her coworkers at Fox News. Remember – they were the ONLY network that there was to stand against Hillary Clinton. Everyone else in the mainstream media was entirely in the tank for her, and the network couldn’t afford to have anyone on their own station with a vendetta against The Donald.
For that reason, it’s extremely likely that a pro-Trump host will be replacing her. Gabriel Sherman reports in New York Magazine on Megyn Kelly’s departure from Fox News for NBC. Sherman’s sources claim that the cable network hopes to replace Kelly with a “pro-Trump conservative” female host in order “to align itself with the new administration.” Another Fox insider tells Sherman that Rupert Murdoch “balked when Kelly asked for $25 million late in the talks,” a claim which a source close to Kelly disputes.
As he wrote:
Sources close to Kelly told me today that her departure is an indication of just how unhappy she had become at Fox in the wake of her high-profile feud with Donald Trump and revelations she had accused Ailes of sexual harassment. Her relationships with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity in particular had completely broken down, one Fox host told me. “Billhated her,” the host said. As Kelly’s contract negotiations dragged on during her much-publicized book tour, things also grew strained with Rupert Murdoch, two sources said. One Fox insider told me Murdoch balked when Kelly asked for $25 million late in the talks. (A person close to Kelly disputed this, saying that said Kelly never asked for a specific dollar amount and Fox had been offering $25 million all along.)
The one thing Fox insiders are in agreement on is that whoever replaces Kelly will be a pro-Trump conservative. In the wake of Ailes’s ouster, some media observers speculated that 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wanted to reposition Fox to the center, bringing it more in line with his moderate political views. But the selection of a pro-Trump host to fill Kelly’s slot would suggest that Fox is instead doubling down on its right-wing politics and planning to align itself with the new administration. After initially being hostile to Trump, Murdoch has made moves to curry favor with the president-elect.
I imagine we’ll hear Megyn’s side of the story once she’s out. She did, after all, turn down a $25 million offer from Fox for a smaller one from NBC. She’s also reducing her viewership in the process as well, leading me to imagine that she really wasn’t happy at Fox.