Updated: Jan. 4 at 12:05 p.m. ET
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Megyn Kelly would leave Fox News, where she has worked for 12 years, for a new position at NBC News.
The Times, citing unnamed people briefed on the negotiations, reported that Kelly’s deal at NBC included a daytime program, a Sunday evening news show and regular participation in major event and political coverage.
NBC News later confirmed Kelly’s hiring in a statement.
“Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career,” NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said in the statement. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”
“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 said in her own statement, posted on Twitter. “I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and Hames Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters.”
Kelly is currently the second most-watched cable news host on television, according to the Times, behind her colleague at Fox News, Bill O’Reilly.
“We thank Megyn Kelly for her 12 years of contributions to FOX News,” 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in a statement emailed to TPM. “We hope she enjoys tremendous success in her career and wish her and her family all the best.”
Her star skyrocketed early in the Republican presidential primary campaign, when she made news by asking Donald Trump in the first debate about his past sexist insults of women. Afterwards, Trump called Kelly a “bimbo” on Twitter, the first in a series of attacks that ultimately required Kelly to have a constant security presence around her and her family.
That was far from the first time Kelly had confronted sexism in politics and media. In 2013, she asked RedState editor Erick Erickson, on “What makes you dominant and me submissive and who died and made you scientist in chief?” after Erickson said that the ”male typically is the dominant role.” She’s become known for those kinds of “Megyn moments,” as the New York Times previously dubbed them, in which she confronts a guest making an argument that would normally be friendly territory for Fox News.
Kelly has also used her primetime Fox show to make often harsh arguments about race issues, including in 2015, when she defended city employees of Ferguson, Missouri, who a Justice Department probe found to have sent multiple racist emails using work accounts. Kelly memorably hosted the leader of the New Black Panther party on her show in 2010 for what became an extremely contentious debate.
And in December of 2013, responding to a Slate writer who argued that it was time to move past a white Santa Claus, Kelly said: “By the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white” (Jesus too, she argued).
After Trump’s election, Kelly sometimes found herself opposite Republicans who supported the more extreme parts of the President-elect’s agenda. In November, she chastised a Trump surrogate who suggested Japanese internment during World War II provided a legal precedent for creating a national registry of Muslim Americans.
Kelly is expected to host “The Kelly File” through Friday, according to a network spokeswoman.
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