While it seemed like Megyn Kelly was destined to build up a morning TV legacy at NBC a few years ago following her highly publicized exit from Fox News, that fate never really transpired, and not for any one simple reason. (Although it's pretty clear the blackface debacle was a giant catalyst.) In the last year, Kelly started up the successful eponymous podcast The Megyn Kelly Show, and is now celebrating a big move to SiriusXM for a new weekday radio chat show. And the new job change allowed her to reflect on her problematic time as part of NBC's Today block and more.
Having stayed away from full-time journalistic gigs in the years since her broadcast shows were cancelled and she was backed into her early and lucrative departure from NBC News - for which she still retained her $69 million contract less than a year into a three-year deal - Megyn Kelly is diving back in with both feet thanks to her new SiriusXM deal. And in talking about how happy she is with her present career path, Kelly offered Business Insider an assessment of why her transition from Fox News to NBC didn't go as well as expected.
I had this soaring career at Fox that was great by any measure, but I was miserable at home. It was too stressful, too much time away from my family and my kids, and then I overcorrected at NBC by going too soft.
There's no denying how popular Megyn Kelly was at Fox News during her peak, both with conservative viewers and with liberal critics (for the most part, anyway). But she was definitely a very busy woman in those years leading up to her exit in early 2017. Not only did she have The Kelly File on a weekly basis, but she was also a much-utilized correspondent on tons of other Fox News series, from The Five to Fox and Friends to The Factor. And that's not counting all the campaigning and election coverage throughout 2015 and 2016. So it's understandable that she might have felt a little burnt out and without enough quality time to spend with her family.
But instead of easing back accordingly, Megyn Kelly admitted she may have gone too soft too quickly in taking over a full hour-long block of NBC's Today along with her sporadically airing Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, as she lost some of the hardened edge she'd sharpened at Fox News. But there were obviously other issues, such as that baffling Alex Jones interview early in her Today mini-tenure, which was leaked online ahead of its TV debut; the aforementioned blackface-apologist controversy; the plummeting ratings. And so on.
Thankfully for Megyn Kelly, her podcast hasn't been plagued with such issues, and is popular enough to have landed her an even more steady gig with SiriusXM. And that kind of job security allows one to comfortably take shots at a former employer, as Kelly did when saying this about NBC:
To be perfectly honest, the job wasn’t intellectually stimulating for me, and now I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I’m fired up and making a difference.
It's obviously impossible to know if Megyn Kelly could have turned it all around at NBC's Today, or if she just wasn't ever going to make it work there. Here's hoping she'll have more intellectually stimulating things to do at SiriusXM, where she'll be talking out news headlines, hadnling interviews and answering calls from listeners. Probably don't expect her to become the next Howard Stern or anything, though.
Fans will need to hold out a little longer before hearing her voice on satellite radio, however, as The Megyn Kelly Show will make its debut on SiriusXM's Triumph channel on Tuesday, September 7. In the meantime, check out all the non-radio shows hitting the 2021 Summer TV schedule.