The first major domino of the post-Roger Ailes era at Fox News has fallen. The network’s rising star, news anchor Megyn Kelly, is leaving for an influential new gig at rival NBC News.
Kelly became one of cable news’s biggest names during the 2016 presidential election. She hosted three Republican primary debates, often clashing with Donald Trump and receiving a torrent of insults from him. Trump boycotted the January debate in Des Moines, Iowa, after he alleged that Kelly treated him unfairly.
Trump, ironically, is still a producer on the NBC reality show The New Celebrity Apprentice—meaning he and Kelly are now effectively co-workers.
Kelly, an employee at Fox since 2004, will take on a multifaceted role at NBC as host of a daytime discussion show and a Sunday night news magazine program, along with other contributions to the network’s political and news coverage.
Kelly is said to have turned down Fox’s offer of more than $20 million per year to stay at the network, according to the New York Times. It’s unclear how much she will be paid at NBC.
The Kelly File host was one of several women who accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. Ailes was forced out of the company in July after an internal review into the allegations. In her memoir, published in November, Kelly wrote that she kept written records of her interactions with Ailes, which were then used during the investigation into his conduct.
Though sometimes considered to be one of the more politically moderate voices on the singularly conservative Fox News, Kelly has nonetheless drawn heavy criticism for her reporting on racial issues, particularly on the “New Black Panther Party” that Fox News sought to depict as a nationwide threat to law and order.
Her departure will leave a big hole in the Fox News schedule. The Kelly File was routinely ranked as the number one cable news show on television in the crucial 25-54 age demographic, while the network as a whole is struggling with a rapidly aging viewership.