A Minute With: Megyn Kelly on Fox News and foe Jon Stewart

Wed May 7, 2014 11:48am EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A decade ago Megyn Kelly was practicing law and moonlighting as a local TV reporter before Fox News Channel came calling, starting a relationship that would take her career from newbie legal correspondent to the host of her own prime-time gig.

Currently ensconced behind colleague Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor" at the No. 2 spot on U.S. cable news ratings, Kelly's "The Kelly File" draws about 1.9 million viewers nightly on average, more than double her nearest 9 p.m. competitor.

Known for her lawyer's poise and tenacity, Kelly has also chiseled out a role at the network popular among conservatives as someone unafraid to call out her older male colleagues on issues like gender.

Kelly, 43, who recently was named to Time magazine's 100 most influential people list, spoke with Reuters about the network's role in the news media, sexism in the workplace and what happened when she called comedian Jon Stewart "mean."

Q: Do you see the Time magazine distinction, where you are placed alongside the likes of pop singer Miley Cyrus and Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as a notch in your belt?

A: I wouldn't say it's an accomplishment so much as it's an acknowledgement of something I felt over the past six or seven months since I've taken this job, which is just a growing market power, and that's good. I guess that's to be expected when they give you the microphone at 9 p.m. on the Fox News Channel. You're going to have a bigger profile. You're going to have a bigger voice.

Q: You and your network have often been a favorite punching bag for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

A: Stewart doesn't bother me as much as he used to. He used to do these segments on me all the time, and then one day on the air I said he was mean and then he called me up, and we had an hour-long talk. He explained that he didn't mean to be mean and that he does satire and that he claimed I was 'one of the three journalists he respects.'   Continued...

Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni