Megyn Kelly to leave Fox News for NBC News

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Megyn Kelly.
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Victoria Will/Invision/AP

Megyn Kelly will leave Fox News to join NBC News, it was announced on Tuesday.

“Over a dozen years ago I started at Fox News in a job that would change my life,” Kelly said in a statement. “Now, I have decided to end my time at FNC, incredibly enriched for the experiences I’ve had.”

Kelly added: “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.”

NBC News said in a press release that Kelly signed an unspecified multiyear contract.

“Megyn is an exceptional journalist and news anchor, who has had an extraordinary career,” Andrew Lack, the chair of NBC Universal Chairman News Group, said in a statement. “She’s demonstrated tremendous skill and poise, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Kelly will anchor an NBC News program Sunday evening, host an hourlong daily daytime news talk show, and become a mainstay in special political-news events.

In announcing the news, Kelly thanked the Fox News and the Murdoch family, which oversees 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

“I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters,” she said.

Rupert Murdoch, Fox News’ chief executive and 21st Century Fox co-chair, wished Kelly well in her future endeavors.

“We thank Megyn Kelly for her 12 years of contributions to FOX News,” he said in a statement. “We hope she enjoys tremendous success in her career and wish her and her family all the best.”

Kelly’s future at Fox has been the subject of speculation for months as the anchor and top 21st Century Fox brass engaged in a relatively public renegotiation of her contact, which is set to expire this year.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kelly was seeking an annual salary of about $20 million, over the reported amount made by Bill O’Reilly, the host of the highest-rated primetime cable show.

Murdoch told the Journal in October that while he was hoping to keep Kelly at Fox, the network had other talented on-air personalities.

“We have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot,” Murdoch said.

Kelly’s departure, which The New York Times first reported, also comes as the network has publicly said it wants to shift slightly toward more hard news.

Speaking at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in December, Murdoch said that since former Fox head Roger Ailes’ departure, the network was focused slightly more on breaking news.

“There’s definitely a desire to break news, to really focus on the news side of it. But also to make sure that the personalities that are in prime time, the people that are there, and new people that are going to come through are engaging and exciting and connecting with the audience,” Murdoch said.

Kelly is set to host her last Fox News show on Friday.