ABC News, Megyn Kelly Dis­cussed 'Good Morn­ing Amer­ica' An­chor Job

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

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 co­host 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.

En­ter­tain­ing of­fers

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 full­time 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." — Reuters

— AP

Jour­nal­ist Megyn Kelly poses at The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter's 25th An­nual Women in En­ter­tain­ment Break­fast at MILK Stu­dios on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los An­ge­les.

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