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Megyn Kelly claims that then-CNN boss Jeff Zucker offered her a massive payday to join that network but she thought better of it because viewers would “hate her guts.”
This revelation came during a conversation on her podcast with syndicated radio talk show host Buck Sexton, a former CNN contributor, that included a discussion of the failed rollout of the CNN+ streaming service, which features (at least for now) Kelly’s former Fox News colleague Chris Wallace.
“When I was deciding whether I was gonna stay at Fox or leave Fox, and I decided to leave Fox, because I wanted to see my children, and there wasn’t a role there for me that would have allowed me to sort of do what I wanted to do and still see my kids, I considered going to CNN,” the ex-host of FNC’s “The Kelly File” admitted.
“CNN made me a huge offer, huge — Jeff Zucker. And I said no, Buck, because I knew ‘whose my fan base gonna be over there?’ I knew who my fans were, and I knew that my Fox viewers were not gonna follow me to CNN and that the CNN viewers were gonna hate my guts,” she continued.
“So I decided to sort of get out of the politics game and go do morning TV, and try to do something more Oprah-esque, which was a disaster for different reasons, but I understood switching sort of political ships was not going to lead to success either. And I can see [Chris Wallace] suffering from that very problem right now…” she continued.
Watch (the CNN-related commentary begins at about the 19-minute mark):
There is some irony here perhaps. As a host of one of the hours of the NBC “Today” show franchise, Kelly was unable to generate ratings, in part, because “The Kelly File” had become a Never Trump megaphone during the 2016 election cycle, thereby alienating a sizeable portion of the potential crossover Fox audience.
Thus, Fox News viewers never followed her to NBC, and she never caught on with the more liberal “Today” show viewers, or her network colleagues, when she attempted to reinvent herself as a lifestyle anchor.
Kelly left NBC after several controversies but reportedly with a full payout of her $69 million contract.
Separately, Sexton wondered how Wallace could insist that he was uncomfortable with Fox News programming, such as Tucker Carlson’s January 6 “Patriot Purge” documentary that streams on Fox Nation and join “more ethical” CNN, a network that pushed the Russiagate hoax and gave a platform to those who claimed that the authentic Hunter Biden laptop was disinformation.
CNN+ was a doomed concept, Sexton implied. “Trump broke CNN. I think they still have really not emotionally recovered from that,” he contended.
He also threw shade at “lib activist” Jake Tapper, prompting Kelly to note that she has a personal friendship with the latter.
Kelly noted, however, that CNN’s entire prime-time lineup suffers from Trump derangement syndrome which has extended into GOP derangement syndrome.
She then wondered about “the moron” who thought that a streaming service featuring many of the same personalities from ratings-challenged CNN could amount to a success.
Kelly also called out Chris Wallace for seemingly being ungrateful to Fox News.
“You wonder like who’s his fan base…you’re in fourth place on Fox News for the entirety of your career on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ So no one was choosing to watch you. But Roger [Ailes] was loyal to him, and then they kept him in place after Roger Ailes left and then died. And now you’re gonna jump to CNN, because why? You think the liberals are gonna love you because you were tough on Trump for all those years? They’re not. They saw you as a useful foil…,” she explained.
Chris Wallace reportedly ‘having daily breakdowns’ at CNN , threatens to walk, source says https://t.co/qCmiD7cpj6
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) April 13, 2022
“He was overpaid, and it was nepotism, to begin with,” Sexton asserted about the “delusional” Wallace.
Since launching her podcast, Kelly has moved noticeably to the right on many issues.
Chris Licht is CNN’s new president. “In an attempt to restore CNN’s credibility, Licht is expected to attempt to pivot back to straight news after Zucker allowed the network to take on a partisan, liberal approach that has struggled to attract viewers during the Biden era,” Fox News reported.
It remains to be seen if CNN content will change, however, especially given that Licht is coming to the cable network from his role as executive producer of Stephen Colbert’s aggressively left-wing CBS show.
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