BREAKING: Megyn Kelly Makes MASSIVE Announcement About Her Future After Newt Gingrich Fight
Megyn Kelly: he had a rough first debate. He took the bait on Alicia Machado. He stayed in that trap for a week. The Access Hollywood tape came out. Which was not produced by Hillary Clinton. (Does she have proof of that?) That was Trump on camera talking…
Newt Gingrich: Megyn, I just heard you go through this with Governor Pence. I get it. I know where you’re coming from. Let me point out something to you. The three major networks spent 23 minutes attacking Donald Trump that night and 57 seconds Hillary Clinton’s secret speeches. You don’t think this is a scale of bias worthy of Pravda and Izvestia?
Megyn Kelly: If Trump is a sexual predator that is…
Newt Gingrich: He’s not a sexual predator.
Megyn Kelly: OK that’s your opinion.
Newt Gingrich: You cannot defend that statement…
Megyn Kelly: I think your defensiveness on this may speak volumes, sir.
Now, an article has been published by The New York Times that calls Kelly’s entire future with Fox News into question. The article pointed out that Kelly’s contract is almost up, and that Fox is at a crossroads looking at heading in two very different directions.
On the same day as Ms. Kelly’s confrontation with Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Hannity announced on his radio show that if Trump won, he would personally pay to fly President Obama to Canada or, for that matter,Kenya or Indonesia. It was a nod to the fake, old “birther” conspiracy that even Mr. Trump has eschewed after promoting it for years.
So there, on Tuesday, were the two distinct futures of Fox.
Rupert Murdoch, whose family controls Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, has so far mostly kept it in its Ailesian mode, which, after all, has made Fox News a major profit driver for its corporate parent and kept it atop the cable news ratings. And Mr. Murdoch’s son Lachlan recently said it would be “foolish of us” to depart from “a winning strategy.”
But CNN is nipping at Fox News’s heels, managing to beat it in the news demographic that advertisers care most about — people between the ages of 25 and 54 — over the last four weeks, the first such sustained victory in 15 years.
Still, nothing forces decisions in television news like the hard deadlines of talent contracts. Ms. Kelly’s comes up later next year, followed by that of Mr. O’Reilly. Every rival network has expressed interest in picking her up, and Tuesday night’s Megyn moment can only help her in that regard.
The Murdochs have made it clear they would like Ms. Kelly to stay, which they showed with the $6 million advance their book imprint HarperCollins paid for her coming memoir, “Settle for More.”
As Sarah Ellison of Vanity Fair noted at the magazine’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco last week, they would like to get the contract nailed down before she goes on her book tour next month.
But if they persuade her to stay, will there be room for her, Mr. Hannity and Mr. O’Reilly?
Both Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Hannity have openly feuded with Ms. Kelly, though Mr. Hannity’s fights have been more bitter and more recent. If Ms. Kelly stays, will they?
Who knows if Mr. Trump will pursue some sort of television news-style venture (he says he has no interest). But if he does, he could conceivably hire Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Hannity, who has a contract provision that would allow him to follow Mr. Ailes out the door (though the window is tight and it would presumably have to happen in relatively short order).
A Trump venture raises the prospect of a more moderate — if still plenty conservative-friendly — Fox News combating not just CNN and MSNBC but also a challenger from the right. Television news would never be the same.
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