#1 Megyn Kelly-Sean Hannity Dust-Up Is Latest Challenge for Fox News by ThirstyMan 07.10.2016 00:51

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Senior TV Editor, Brian Steinberg OCT 6, 2016

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Fox News Channel, two of its most important employees are acting as if they’re gearing up for a separation.

The TV-news business is filled with gossip and sidelong remarks, but most is chewed over in private. In one of the most public needlings since Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly hurled invective at each other and their networks’ parent corporations in the mid-to-late 2000s, Fox News’ Sean Hannity took on a colleague, Megyn Kelly, questioning her over remarks she made about Donald Trump and rival Hillary Clinton making appearances only on programs known to be friendly to their cause.

“Donald Trump, with all due respect to my friend at 10 p.m., will go on ‘Hannity’ and pretty much only ‘Hannity’ and will not venture out to the unsafe spaces these days, which doesn’t exactly expand the tent,” Kelly said Wednesday night. Hannity used Twitter to retort, accusing Kelly, a self-avowed “independent,” of supporting Clinton.

Their squabbling points to bigger challenges looming at Fox News. Megyn Kelly’s contract expires sometime next year. Would she seek to leave if the atmosphere was less than hospitable? Hannity’s contract is believed to last until some time in 2020. Adding to the uncertainty: Bill O’Reilly’s contract also expires in 2017.

Spokespersons for Fox News and Megyn Kelly could not be reached for immediate comment.
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But he [Hannity] is popular among viewers. In September, Hannity’s 10 p.m. program attracted the most viewers between 25 and 54, the demographic coveted most by advertisers, of any cable news program – marking the first time he has won the distinction since his show moved to its current timeslot to make way for Kelly in 2013. Kelly, meanwhile, led cable news in that same viewer demo for the third quarter.

Ratings don’t seem to be the issue for the latest Fox News brouhaha. When asked on Twitter Thursday evening why he casting aspersion on a colleague, Hannity replied that he would stand by fellow employees “when they stand by me.”

http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/megyn-ke...ews-1201880183/

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