Megyn Kelly Will 'Regret Her Move'
Precedent doesn't bode well for Fox News star's move from cable to broadcast
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2017 7:33 AM CST
In this May 5, 2016, file photo, Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in New York.   (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Megyn Kelly made a big announcement with her impending defection from Fox to NBC, where she'll host a daytime news show and anchor a Sunday evening news program, but not everyone thinks her career decision is wise—for her or the networks. Jack Shafer writes for Politico that Kelly will "regret her move," comparing this particular rendition of the "TV talent-poaching game" to that of Barbara Walters in 1976, when she was lured from NBC by ABC News, and Katie Couric, who was brought into the CBS News fold from the Today show in 2006. Both Walters and Couric tanked in their news anchor roles, leading to the lesson of "non-transferability of TV starpower," and it's a lesson Shafer believes has just been unheeded. "I can't think of any cable host who moved full-time to broadcast and thrived," he writes. "I can't believe Barbara Walters didn't talk her out of this move." Other opinions:

  • Jim Rutenberg wonders for the New York Times about the "risks for all involved," noting that "daytime television has been notoriously difficult for news stars." He also wonders how Fox will fare without someone like Kelly in prime time to "challenge" the Trump administration, as well as how it will look without a female prime-time host, especially in the wake of its recent sex harassment scandal.

  • Is Kelly's leaving Fox a "big clue about the future of Fox News"? Gabriel Sherman seems to think so, writing for the Daily Intelligencer that network insiders think Kelly's replacement will be, unlike Kelly, a "pro-Trump conservative." This means the network may be planning on "doubling down on its right-wing politics and planning to align itself with the new administration"—which might help Rupert Murdoch's business interests.
  • Despite the pearl-clutching over Kelly's departure, Erik Wemple says Fox will be "just fine." At the Washington Post, Wemple predicts that though filling Kelly's shoes won't be easy, whoever replaces her will enjoy "fabulous ratings." "Plug in a new host at 9pm, flog the classic lineup of Fox News issues, and watch the viewers tune in," he writes.
  • Mark Joyella lists for Forbes the five things Kelly's move means for TV news, including whether Fox's success is due to its "formula" or its stars, and whether the network will spring for another host like her ("a journalist with broad appeal") or a "new [Bill] O'Reilly …to essentially [double] down on the high-octane opinion that drove Fox News to the top."
(Kelly's book got trolled on Amazon.)

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