Fox News Moving Megyn Kelly to Primetime

Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly will move to the network’s primetime lineup after returning from maternity leave, it was announced on Tuesday.

The No. 1 cable news channel has also signed new long-term deals with current primetime hosts Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren as well as afternoon anchors Bret Baier and Shephard Smith. Fox News said a new primetime schedule would be announced at a later date.

“Megyn is an exceptional talent who has successfully filled and surpassed each role we have given her at the network,” said Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. “Her ability to command the screen, delve into the facts and lead a debate is what makes her one of the most sought-after anchors in the business.”

Though Fox News’ primetime ratings are way ahead of its next competitor, the channel has been slipping since the conclusion of the 2012 presidential election, and in June posted its lowest weekday primetime performance among the key adults 25-54 demo since August 2001. Kelly has long been considered a rising star at the network and at 42, is considerably younger than Fox News’ current primetime hosts.

Kelly has anchored the daytime news program America Live from 1-3 p.m. since 2010 and last fall she co-anchored Fox News’ election night coverage with Bret Baier, where she took an infamous walk to the network’s decision desk on-air to verify results after contributor Karl Rove raised doubts about the election being called for President Obama. She also co-anchored primetime coverage of the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions and presidentialprimaries and moderated two GOP presidential debates.

She joined Fox News in 2004, covering the Supreme Court and serving as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for ABC affiliate WJLA-TV inWashington and had a career as a corporate litigator before transitioning to television.