Megyn Kelly, keeping 'options open,' says she might not stay at Fox News

megyn kelly
Megyn Kelly says she might not stay at Fox News

In a candid interview, Megyn Kelly says she hasn't decided whether she wants to stay at Fox News after her contract expires next year.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Kelly told Variety.

Kelly says she's had a "great 12 years" at Fox and really likes working for the network's chairman Roger Ailes, but is also weighing the drawbacks of the job as it comes time to negotiate.

The Fox News host's recent round of interviews might be seen as a public negotiation -- setting the table, at least, for talks with Fox and other networks.

Kelly, 45, is interested in long-form interviewing and has thought about pursuing a daytime talk show. In May she is hosting a Barbara Walters-style prime time special on the Fox broadcast network.

Related: Megyn Kelly to Donald Trump: 'Seriously?'

When Charlie Rose asked her "what's the perfect television show for Megyn Kelly to do?" in a sit-down that was televised last Sunday, she answered, "How about if we merge a little Charlie Rose, a little Oprah, and a little me all together. And we serve that up as an hour? Wouldn't you watch that?"

Speaking with Rose about her future, Kelly emphasized, "I'm not saying I want to leave Fox News, I'm saying I want to add -- I think I'd like to add -- to what I'm doing."

Related: Megyn Kelly says Bill O'Reilly didn't have her back

"But I have to figure it out, Charlie," she said, "because I don't want to take away more time from my family."

Kelly is the 9 p.m. weekday host on Fox News. Groomed by Ailes for many years, Kelly is thought to be the network's biggest star alongside -- and up against -- Bill O'Reilly.

She has been bruised but also bolstered by an ongoing feud with Donald Trump, a feud that she says is one-sided.

While Trump viciously criticizes Kelly on a regular basis, she has sought to stay above the fray, with mixed success.

Related: Megyn Kelly is ready for Trump: 'I stand by every question'

Trump's attacks against Kelly have complicated Fox's relationship with the GOP frontrunner.

Kelly told Variety that she has felt supported by Fox, noting that the network "has been in a tough position. They care about me and they are not afraid of a fight, but we're in unchartered territory."

Kelly has repeatedly said that she wishes O'Reilly, the network's 8 p.m. host, had defended her more during one particular interview with Trump back in January when the candidate badmouthed Kelly mere minutes before Kelly's show came on.

Both Kelly and O'Reilly's contracts are up for renewal in 2017. Kelly's contract comes due earlier, and executives at other networks are interested in poaching her from Fox if possible.

When Variety editor Ramin Setoodeh asked Kelly, "Have you decided if you're staying at Fox News?" she said, "I haven't."

Related: Megyn Kelly strikes a book deal

She said she likes her show and loves her staff, but added, "There's a lot of brain damage that comes from the job. There was probably less brain damage when I worked in the afternoon. I was less well known. I had far less conflict in my life."

She also cited her family life as a factor: "I also have three kids who are soon going to be school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m... I like to see my children. Having said that, my boss has been good about working with me to make me happy -- he knows I'm a hard worker. I've had few problems here where I couldn't talk to him and say, 'Can we work something out?,' and come away happy."

But the bottom line, she said, is that "I have to keep my options open."


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