Tags: Megyn Kelly | Fox News | Bill OReilly | Roger Ailes | Megyn moments

New York Times: Megyn Kelly's Star Still Rising

Image: New York Times: Megyn Kelly's Star Still Rising
Fox Host Megyn Kelly. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 02:49 PM

Fox News superstar Megyn Kelly and what experts like to call her "Megyn moments" have brought her praise from many of the people who typically disdain the network and its conservative stance, according to a lengthy profile going to print in the Sunday Magazine section of The New York Times this weekend.

Kelly's nightly news program, "The Kelly File," is the the network's biggest new hit, writes Jim Rutenberg, the chief political correspondent for the magazine, and appeals to a younger and more diverse demographic, as she does not only hesitate to attack liberals, but often turns her tough questions to Republican sources as well.

Rutenberg explains the "Megyn moment" as when a Fox guest or even an official contributor is arguing with the network's usual viewpoint, and Kelly calls a part of it as nonsense.

And while Kelly's views generally align with Fox's, people like political adviser Karl Rove and former Vice President Dick Cheney have not been spared from her questioning, and Rutenberg explains that the tactic is part of the reason behind the anchor's rising star power.

Since Kelly's show debuted in 2013, she has beaten all other competitors on the cable news cycle, drawing an audience of 2.8 million viewers. This equaled out to being four times more than MSNBC's Rachel Maddow draws, and about six times more than Mike Rowe's CNN program "Somebody's Gotta Do It."

Further, "The Kelly File" was the top non-sports program in the time slot for all of basic cable television viewers in 2014, and Fox News Channel Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes calls her his "breakthrough artist."

Ailes holds that many Americans are alienated by what he calls "New York-Hollywood elitists," and after he started his network in 1996, it jumped to the top of ratings in 2002 and widened its lead since that time. By 2014, Fox's share of the audience had reached 61 percent, putting it in second place in prime time in basic cable, with only ESPN coming out ahead.

But Ailes' conservative demographic was starting to limit the network, and even though it wins the coveted 25 to 54 age demographic, critics point out Fox News attracts the oldest cable news audience.

To change that, Ailes has relied on personality, rather than news, to boost his network's ratings, and for a long time Bill O'Reilly, now 65, has been the Fox News' key star, drawing an audience that in 2012 was 52 percent Republican. Sean Hannity, whose show came in after O'Reilly's, drew an audience that was 65 percent Republican, in comparison.

But as Kelly came up, Ailes put her on with O'Reilly frequently, where she made her name debating him and standing her ground, until she was moved into Hannity's prized 9 p.m. time slot, pushing him back to 10 p.m.

And since it started, "The Kelly File," continued to grow to the point that in November, she finally beat O'Reilly in the 25-54 demographic while covering the Ferguson, Missouri unrest. As 2014 ended, she came in just behind O'Reilly.

Kelly, 44, was not always into news, but is a 1995 graduate of the Albany Law School and facing student loan debt pursued a career in corporate litigation.

And by 2003, following the end of her first marriage, she made a TV news demo tape and finally got a job on WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington D.C.

Many network executives agree that Kelly could have gone on to their networks, with former CNN/US President Jonathan Klein saying one of his big regrets was that he did not hire Kelly, who says Fox was the only other place besides WJLA she wanted to work.

Even before Kelly got her prime time show, she famously cemented her career at Fox by arguing with Rove on election night 2012, when he insisted GOP candidate Mitt Romney still had a chance to win, based on Rove's own calculations.

"Is this just the math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is it real?” Kelly argued with him, and later when Fox declared the election for Obama and Rove would not back down, she jeered "that's awkward."

Ailes says Kelly still has a ways to go before she reaches the status of "truly great" talents such as Walter Cronkite, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, and O'Reilly, but "we've been on the air for 18 years. She shows up, and in one year goes to No. 2 and close to No. 1. That is an astounding accomplishment. Before this is over, she may be bigger than anybody."

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Megyn Kelly's nightly news program, "The Kelly File," appeals to a younger and more diverse demographic, as she does not only hesitate to attack liberals, but often turns her tough questions to Republican sources as well, The New York Times reports.
Megyn Kelly, Fox News, Bill OReilly, Roger Ailes, Megyn moments
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2015-49-21
Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 02:49 PM
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