Fox News may be forced to choose whether to retain the services of Megyn Kelly or Bill O’Reilly, according to a report in Vanity Fair.
“On top of all their troubles they have, if they lose their ‘It girl,’ they’ll be in even worse shape,” said an anonymous source described as a “rival” executive. “If I’m her agent, I’m thinking ka-ching.”
The Kelly File host’s contract does not expire until July 2017. The report stated that while she currently earns $10 million per year, she could ask for twice as much in future negotiations — surprassing O’Reilly’s salary, which Heavy.com reported was estimated as being between $15 million and $17 million per year. O’Reilly’s current contract also expires next year.
Earlier this year, Page Six reported that Kelly would seek to be paid at least as much as the Factor host, with one source saying, “The only place she’ll earn a salary that large is Fox News, and Megyn knows it.”
The Vanity Fair report also painted Kelly’s possible future negotiations as being linked to a difference of opinion between the conservative network’s interim CEO, Rupert Murdoch, and his sons, 21st Century Fox executives Lachlan and James Murdoch.
“Rupert Murdoch knows and likes O’Reilly. The brothers, however, reportedly are not fans,” Sarah Ellison wrote. Ellison also said that there was a “palpable” enmity between both hosts, and quoted an ex-Fox executive as saying, “you’d have to have the world’s greatest interventional therapist to come and sit down with them both.”
A Fox spokesperson quickly rebuffed that assessment, saying, “The person who said this clearly doesn’t know anything about managing talent” and defending executive vice-president Suzanne Scott and co-president Bill Shine, who they said “have maintained a close relationship with Bill and Megyn for years and have helped both of them in many instances, all while co-existing under the same roof.”