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Merrimack Valley

October 7, 2013

Fox News' Megyn Kelly heading to prime time


Kelly has cultivated an image of speaking up in ways that run counter to Fox’s image. She marched off the set on Election Night to interview Fox’s numbers guy, minimizing the embarrassment when Karl Rove questioned the declaration that President Barack Obama had won re-election. Her legal training helped Fox correct, quicker than rivals, an initially wrong report on the U.S. Supreme Court’s health care decision. She expressed disgust at a man’s suggestion that children of working mothers don’t fare as well as children with stay-at-home moms.

Yet on a day-to-day basis, the stories that she selects and emphasizes have made her show one that Fox’s primarily Republican audience can feel comfortable with.

“What Megyn has done for us is create a new style of hosting and a new style of doing a show,” said Bill Shine, Fox’s executive vice president for programming. “I think she’s fair, she’s nice. But I think if you’re going to try to BS her ... if she smells it and she catches it, she’s going to call you on it.”

With a less strident approach at 9 p.m., Fox’s hope is to attract some younger viewers, maybe some women. “I don’t want to infer that (the schedule change) is being done to correct a negative,” he said. “It’s being done because we felt with these changes we would remain No. 1 and possibly be No. 1 by a larger margin.”

Kelly said her evening show will be sharper, faster and to the point. She is keeping Tom Lowell, her executive producer when she was on the 1 to 3 p.m. shift, in the same role. The daytime show often used news stories as launching points for discussions with two or three commentators.

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