Megyn Kelly Leaves Fox News for 3 New Gigs at NBC, Including Daytime Talk Show
The host of The Kelly File will be leaving Fox News after months of contract negotiations amid wide-ranging claims of sexual harassment at the network, PEOPLE confirms
Megyn Kelly is starting a new chapter in her news career.
The longtime host of Fox News’ The Kelly File will be vacating her anchor chair for a new role at NBC News, PEOPLE confirms.
As first reported by The New York Times, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack offered Kelly a chance to host her own daytime news and discussion program, anchor an in-depth Sunday night news show and also a role taking part in the network’s special political programming and other big event coverage.
In a memo to the NBC News team obtained by PEOPLE, Lack wrote, “Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career. She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”
After news broke of her departure, Kelly took to social media to share her thoughts on the transition, saying, “While I will greatly miss my colleagues at Fox, I am delighted to be joining the NBC News family and taking on a new challenge.”
Kelly’s last day on Fox will be Friday, Jan. 6.
Kelly, who hosted one of Fox News’ most popular shows, has reportedly been in contract negotiations for months. In October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the 46-year-old hoped to upgrade her current deal, which expires in July, to an average annual salary north of $20 million for her next contract, which would put her earnings on par with fellow Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
At the time, Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch, who is also co-executive chairman of its parent company, 21st Century Fox, told The New York Times he hoped Kelly won’t go anywhere.
“It’s up to her,” he said, but added that there are other talented hosts who could step in. “We have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot.”
Murdoch also stated that he was being kept up to date on the contract talks “every minute of the day.”
RELATED VIDEO: Megyn Kelly Details Alleged Sexual Harassment by Roger Ailes
Following Kelly’s announcement, Murdoch released a statement thanking the longtime Fox employee for her 12 years of hard work. “We thank Megyn Kelly for her 12 years of contributions to FOX News. We hope she enjoys tremendous success in her career and wish her and her family all the best.”
Kelly’s departure also arises months after a growing group of women, beginning with former anchor Gretchen Carlson and including Kelly herself, exposed former Fox News head Roger Ailes of ongoing sexual harassment at the company.
Kelly revealed in November why she decided to continue at the career, telling Good Morning America‘s George Stephanopoulos: “Realistically, that would have been a suicide mission for me and my career. … I wasn’t Megyn Kelly of today. I had no power. And he was on the cover of industry magazines as the most powerful man in news. There was no one to go to.”
Of Kelly’s time at the company, particularly given the allegedly toxic work environment, her network costar Jennifer Griffin told PEOPLE: “I’ve been part of this family for a long time and I know all of the players involved and I can tell you that these are all very good people. It took a great deal of strength and courage for not only Gretchen but also Megyn and others who will remain nameless.”
Griffin added, “This was a case where this was very well hidden and it’s a shame that it took so long for it to come out and that it went on as long as it did. But my hat is off as a woman working at that company and I think we all feel a degree of gratitude and indebtedness that women like Gretchen and Megyn were strong enough to speak up and it’s really an unfortunate chapter, but it’s over.”