Megyn Kelly bolts Fox News for NBC News

Megyn Kelly is signing off on Fox News to join rival NBC News.

The popular cable network personality is joining the peacock network, where she will anchor a new, one-hour daytime program, Andrew Lack, chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, said in a statement today.

As part of a broad, multi-year deal, Kelly will also anchor a new Sunday evening news magazine show and contribute to NBC’s breaking news, political and special events coverage.

“Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career” Lack said. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”

NBC said details on Kelly's duties will be announced in the coming months.

The departure of Kelly, whose ratings were second only to those of her colleague Bill O'Reilly, is a major blow to Fox, which has retained most of its top talent.

Fox was not immediately available for comment.

"At a time when network news is in need of a jolt and credibility after the 2016 election," says Rich Hanley, associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University, who compared Kelly's signing to Katie Couric's jump from NBC's Today Show to anchor the CBS Evening News in 2006. "She is a tough, sharp interviewer as evidenced by the Trump episode."

Kelly, who anchored The Kelly File since 2013, delivered top ratings to Fox while playing a prominent role in the 2016 presidential election. She repeatedly sparred with president-elect Donald Trump, punctuated by a contentious showdown at the first GOP debate, in which she confronted him about his insulting remarks about women.

"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 a Facebook post.

Trump countered with slashing remarks in which he insinuated Kelly was antagonistic to him in the debate because she was menstruating. The two eventually met in Trump’s office to hash out their differences.

She also clashed with former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who left the top-rated news organization he helped shape over accusations of sexual harassment. She said Ailes harassed her starting in 2005, according to her book, Settle for More.

Follow USA TODAY San Francisco Bureau Chief Jon Swartz @jswartz on Twitter.


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