Megyn Kelly has been a rising star at Fox News, with her show The Kelly File bringing in the second highest ratings for the network. Early in the election she somewhat inadvertently became one of Donald Trump’s first inappropriate media targets, bringing her to new heights of national attention. She handled it well, and has continued to effectively rout Trump’s stand ins from all quarters. Now she wants to get paid.
The Wall Street Journal reports that since last year, Kelly has changed agents and publicity teams, and her contract with the Fox News Network is up in July of 2017. As host of one of their most popular shows she is currently paid $15 million a year. She is allegedly seeking to raise that to $20 million. Her show averaged 2.7 million viewers this year, second only to Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor.
In a surprising interview (contract negotiations are usually not remarked upon on the record by the parties involved), Rupert Murdoch seemed to insinuate that though they want to keep Kelly with the network, she is replaceable:
Asked if Ms. Kelly would stay at the channel, Mr. Murdoch said in an interview that she is important to the network and he hopes to get a contract signed “very soon,” but noted, “it’s up to her.”
Mr. Murdoch said he is kept abreast of the talks “every minute of the day.” While he doesn’t want to lose her, he said, “we have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot.”
He also added that money isn’t an issue in the negotiations. The WSJ interviewed Shelley Ross, a former executive producer for Good Morning America, about Kelly’s chances for escaping Fox to a softer day time talk show, who responded, “She’s not yet shown a warm and fuzzy side.”
There’s plan for Megyn Kelly to guest-host Live with Kelly the day after the election, when we’re all coming to terms with what we’ve wrought. It may also be a chance for her to see if she wants to leave The Kelly File (and the delightful Fox News environment) to grow the Kelly Empire.