Martha MacCallum Steps Up as Fox News' (Only) Female Primetime News Anchor

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Now that Megyn Kelly has moved to NBC News, the network veteran's 'The First 100 Days' at 7 p.m., debuting Jan. 16, is followed by a three-hour, all-male, all-opinion block.

Rupert Murdoch noted during Megyn Kelly's long deliberations that any number of Fox News Channel anchors would give their "right arm" for her plum time slot. Tucker Carlson didn't have to.

On Jan. 5, two days after Kelly's NBC megadeal was announced, Murdoch tapped Carlson for 9 p.m. (His show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, bowed in November at 7 p.m. and rode the election to solid ratings.) At the same time, Murdoch promoted Martha MacCallum to 7 p.m., where beginning Jan. 16 she'll anchor The First 100 Days. She'll also co-anchor Inauguration Day coverage with chief political anchor Bret Baier.

Like Kelly, MacCallum hails from the network's news ranks; both women co-anchored the afternoon program America's Newsroom (with Bill Hemmer) before going solo. MacCallum, a 52-year-old married mother of three, has a Hollywood-friendly detail in her biography: She studied drama at Circle in the Square and founded the Miranda Theater Company.

The veteran came to FNC in 2004 after several years at CNBC and NBC, and she's well liked at Fox, where she often filled in for Kelly on The Kelly File. In a tweet, Kelly said, "She's amazing and will shine at any hour." And MacCallum now will be the lone news anchor in FNC primetime, followed by a three-hour, all-male, all-opinion block.

It's unclear if she wants to remain at 7 p.m. after those first 100 days, but one agent notes, "They need to have someone with some credibility in there." 

This story first appeared in the Jan. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.