The first 95 days of the Trump presidency. Terror attacks in London and Paris. And the fall of the cable news king, her former colleague Bill O’Reilly.
Kelly, the former Fox News star who jumped to NBC in early January, has not weighed in on any of it, even as audiences for television news have skyrocketed.
But her absence from the airwaves is about to come to an end.
NBC said Monday that Kelly would start her new job next month, with a Sunday evening showcase set to start in June. Her new morning show, which is expected to replace an hour of “Today,” is scheduled for the fall.
Kelly’s re-entry had been delayed in part because of protracted negotiations over the terms of her exit from Fox News, which retained the right to keep her off the air until her contract was terminated. NBC is also trying to identify a niche for Kelly within its crowded news division, which boasts name-brand stars like Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Lester Holt.
Network executives have yet to settle on a title or an exact format for Kelly’s programs, although her Sunday show has been publicized as a newsmagazine that will go head-to-head with the longtime weekend ratings champion, “60 Minutes,” on CBS.
Kelly, who is among the women to have accused Roger E. Ailes, Fox News’ former chairman, of sexual harassment — he has denied all the allegations — brings a healthy dose of celebrity to her new network home. There is also curiosity about whether she can transfer her finely honed cable-news persona to the fickle waters of network news and different formats like a newsmagazine and a morning show.
CBS producers say they are not concerned about Kelly’s entry into the Sunday night ratings wars, noting that “60 Minutes” still pulls in sparkling Nielsen ratings. Kelly’s morning show will also test whether her harder news sensibilities can adjust to a genre that is better known for entertainment gossip and cooking tips.
The plans for Kelly’s Sunday show were earlier reported by The New York Post.
Kelly made a public debut of sorts this month at a see-and-be-seen media party at the old Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan, where she posed for photographers alongside her new NBC co-anchors. At one point, Kelly appeared deep in conversation with Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman, who had lured her away from Fox News.
Journalists and other industry figures swirled around the pair, hoping to pick up a clue or two about Kelly’s broadcasting future. The wait, it seems, will now last only a few weeks more.