Under different circumstances, the photo above might not be a big deal. So what if Fox News’s Megyn Kelly was hanging out with CNN’s Don Lemon at 3 a.m., after Democratic National Convention coverage ended? People at rival networks are allowed to be friends, right?
Right. But Kelly’s contract is up after the election, and she has publicly discussed the possibility of leaving Fox News.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Kelly told Variety in April. “I’ve had a great 12 years here, and I really like working for Roger Ailes. I really like my show, and I love my team. But, you know, there’s a lot of brain damage that comes from the job.”
Admittedly, a LOT is being read into a seemingly innocuous tweet, but recent events do make this a little juicier. Dana Perino is also in the picture, and no one is rushing to wonder whether she is jumping ship. Megyn Kelly’s dual roles as cable ratings powerhouse and centerpiece in the ousting of Roger Ailes are making even the slightest hint that she may be on the move noteworthy now. There’s also the fact that social media is the new go-to for passive-aggressive behavior in any troubled relationship, whether it be personal or professional.
The Post is basing much of its speculation here on rumors reported by The New York Times:
Megyn Kelly and her co-hosts, including Bret Baier and Brit Hume, have not been speaking during commercial breaks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the anchors’ interactions, who described the on-set atmosphere at Fox News as icy. During ads, the hosts are often absorbed with their smartphones.
If they’re not speaking at all during each break, that’s something. The phone thing is really nothing though. That’s pretty much the norm for every panel broadcast I’ve ever done. When the cameras go off, everyone dives for their phones until they come back on. I did an in-studio radio hit two weeks ago and that’s what we did during each commercial break then too.
What’s got everyone abuzz is that CNN has never really had this much of a chance to poach a ratings heavyweight from Fox News before. While it is true that the network has been getting better ratings during this election cycle, CNN and MSNBC numbers on their best days generally get trounced by Fox News. If there is even a glimmer of hope that Kelly will jump ship when she becomes a free agent, CNN President Jeff Zucker is probably too excited to sleep.