Don’t use the F-word around Megyn Kelly. “Failure” is not in her vocabulary—just take a look at the 46-year-old news anchor’s sturdy résumé. Kelly, a corporate lawyer before becoming a journalist, built three successful shows in her nearly 13 years on Fox News Channel, including the ratings-winning, news-making The Kelly File. In January, she left Fox News for NBC, where she just launched the newsmagazine Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly (she hosts and typically reports one segment per episode) and will debut a 9am talk show in September.
“We’ve wanted to reinvigorate the newsmagazine format for a long time,” says David Corvo, executive producer of Sunday Night along with Liz Cole. “Megyn came here partially because she wanted to do a newsmagazine. It’s a very fortunate agreement on goals. She’s very empathetic, tough and unflappable, plus she has a sense of humor.”
Sunday Night, which premiered June 4 with 6.1 million viewers, didn’t top CBS’s venerable 60 Minutes (in repeats for the summer), but it did win the coveted news demographic of viewers age 25–54. Kelly also garnered some controversy before the third episode, due to her sit-down with Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. (Among his claims: that 9/11 was an inside job and the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school was a hoax.)
We spoke with Kelly in her temporary office at NBC’s 30 Rock as the hearings with former FBI director James Comey ran on a TV in the background. The room’s walls are festooned with drawings by her three young children with best-selling novelist husband Douglas Brunt. The only nonrelative photo: Kelly and one of her professed idols, Judge Judy Sheindlin. Here, Kelly talks about launching her new shows, where she gets her self-confidence and asking Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin the tough questions.
Read the cover story here.
Also in this issue:
- Battle of the Network Stars: ABC revives the famous competition series, with famous faces such as Taye Diggs, Parker Stevenson, Rachelle LeFevre and more taking on the tug of war, dunk tanks and obstacle courses galore
- Zoo: James Wolk and Co. return to fight even wilder new animals in the kingdom.
- American Grit: John Cena lets us know what’s new and in store for Season 2 of the Fox competition series.
- Animal Kingdom: Ben Robson gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the show’s sun-soaked California bad boys and their lair.
• Plus: David Bianculli on TV’s clones and doubles, Matt Roush honors classic Batman Adam West, Daytime Divas star Vanessa Williams shares her TV viewing pleasures, the stars of Casual pen their first episode together, Grantchester and Broadchurch‘s final season offer new mysteries, Jerrod Carmichael offers a guest column on why he likes to push the television envelope, and the best of movies, streaming, sports and more.