Following in the footsteps of greats like Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Barbara Walters, and Charlie Rose, Megyn Kelly's own contract with Fox News is set to expire in 2017, leaving The Kelly File host conspicuously untethered from program or network. Based on her extensive interviews with public figures on The Kelly File, a Megyn Kelly talk show could look similar to Winfrey's and Walter's past shows.
Walters is now retired and Winfrey — whose own show ended in 2011 — has her own network with open slots for new talent. Both of these prominent names, now sitting comfortably in the backdrop, allow for a new era of journalists, talk show hosts, and reporters to succeed them and build upon this staple in American programming.
Before the ubiquity of the Internet, television talk shows were once a main source of information for viewers who wanted to hear discussions of major national issues. These shows would often feature subjects who were limited to little publicity beyond the activities that brought them fame. In other words, these were the days of hour-long interviews with key public figures, driven by reporters who were cautiously indoctrinated and carefully molded into their positions as arbiters of exclusive narratives and particular details. Although talk shows still exist, Kelly may prove the next big contender in the field.
Of course, the changing forces in media and the influence of the Internet will alter the shape of talk shows and first-hand reporting and interviewing. These wheels are already in motion, and Kelly is prepared. After a lengthy history as one of the most famous anchors on Fox News, with an active social media presence, Kelly has proven she can handle anything, or anyone, including Donald Trump.
In a glimpse of what Kelly's talk show could look like, she will air her highly-anticipated interview with Trump on Tuesday, May 17, with a prime-time special on Fox — not Fox News, but the broadcast network — called "Megyn Kelly Presents."
Kelly explained to The New York Times that she would like her career to resemble a combination of Winfrey and Rose, who are two of the most successful interviewers in television history. She also added that she would absolutely fill the gap left behind by Walters, because, "Who in their right mind would reject that?" At this rate, it sounds like Kelly has a reasonably clear sense of direction as to where and how she would like to spend her time.
Only 2017 and the denouement of The Kelly File will reveal the surprises Kelly has in store for viewers around the world. A fresh talk show may not look so farfetched come next year.