Fox News' Roger Ailes Defers Talk of Megyn Kelly's New Time Slot

Courtesy of FOX News
Megyn Kelly

The cable network will neither confirm nor deny speculation that the favored daytime host will move into Sean Hannity's hour, as the CEO plays it close to the vest.

When Megyn Kelly moves to primetime, it's becoming increasing more likely that her new home will be in Sean Hannity's 9 p.m. hour.

Fox News Channel chairman and CEO Roger Ailes addressed the speculation in a Thursday conference with investors, but he would not go so far as to confirm what the dominant cable news network's inevitable primetime shuffle will entail.

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"Megyn has earned a better time slot," he said. This comes just two months after the announcement that the America Live anchor had been promoted out of her afternoon slot to an undisclosed primetime gig. Kelly, who just gave birth to her third child, formally will make the transition upon her return from maternity leave.

A Fox News spokesperson echoed Ailes' points of the rumored move: "We will neither confirm nor deny any programming schedule changes. As previously stated, the network has signed long-term deals with Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren."

Indeed, all six of the network's bigger personalities are signed on to stay with the network -- though the current primetime block (O'Reilly at 8, Hannity at 9 and Van Susteren at 10) does not leave much room for Kelly.

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Addressing how Kelly's addition might affect the rest of the lineup, Ailes would say that changes are in store for Smith's Fox Report, and Hannity, wherever he lands, is "a brand that many of our viewers love and want to see."

"All of our stars will be back," he added.

Kelly's primetime moves comes on the heels of her second-highest-rated quarter to date anchoring America Live. Before her departure, the series had been averaging a robust 1.2 million viewers at 1 p.m.

“Roger Ailes hired me nine years ago when I was new to this business, and he had little other than instinct to suggest it might work out," Kelly said at the time of her promotion. "I was grateful to him then, remain so today and am excited for this next opportunity.”

Paul Bond contributed to this report.