In another feature story timed to the release of her first book, this time with the Hollywood Reporter, Fox News star anchor Megyn Kelly dishes on her scuffles with now-President-elect Donald Trump, her reported $20 million contract offer from Fox, why she does not identify as a feminist, and how her alleged mistreatment at the hands of former network chief Roger Ailes caused her to feel a “sense of loss.”
Of her future in cable news, Kelly told THR she has not “ruled anything out.” Several cable news outlets are said to be interested in Kelly, though at least one unidentified network executive told THR that the business is wary of high-dollar deals after CBS’ $75 million gamble on Katie Couric in 2006.
Kelly told the outlet that the conduct of Roger Ailes — whom she has accused of sexually harassing her — was “particularly dangerous” given his role as the company’s CEO: “I don’t understand how a good person could do the things he did. But it’s a loss. I feel a sense of loss.” (Ailes has vehemently denied Kelly’s allegations).
Of Trump, with whom the anchor memorably sparred after the first Republican primary debate, the anchor says she believes he will feel “humbled” now that he has won the presidency: “Hopefully we’re going to get the charming, magnanimous Trump and not the small, petty, mean-spirited version that we’ve seen occasionally in this campaign. Hope springs eternal.”
“He’s scaring the shit out of people,” laughs Megyn Kelly. “He’s walking up and down the halls, popping in on people unexpectedly. It’s great fun. He has brought a new wave of energy into the building.”
She is describing Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old patriarch of 21st Century Fox and the man who tapped Roger Ailes to create a counterweight to what the two men had perceived as the overwhelmingly liberal bias of the mainstream media — and who, in an extraordinary turn of events, ultimately ousted Ailes and stepped in to replace him in the wake of widespread sexual harassment allegations. (Ailes has denied all allegations of sexual harassment.)
Kelly also can be given her share of credit for bringing new energy to Fox News — and for expanding the tent at the hugely successful ($1 billion in profit last year) but often reviled-by-the-left network. Ever since she challenged Donald Trump on his sexist remarks at the first Republican debate in August 2015 (more than a year before the “grab ’em by the pussy” hot mic conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush leaked), she has burnished her journalistic bona fides and reputation for independence in an era defined by vitriolic partisanship.
“I think my viewers want smart, honest programming,” she says. “They don’t want to be told what makes them feel good.”
Read the rest at The Hollywood Reporter.