Why Should Megyn Kelly Have To Replace Someone In Primetime?

By Alex Weprin Comment

With the news yesterday that Megyn Kelly will be getting a primetime program later this year when she returns from maternity leave, speculation has focused on what time she will be on. While she may end up taking over an existing timeslot, who says that she needs to?

Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren all have long-term contracts that guarantee them primetime placement. That means that there are four hosts to fill three hours of time. In other words, exactly what FNC used to have before Alan Colmes left the 9 PM hour at the end of 2008.

Why couldn’t Kelly and, say, Van Susteren co-host an hour at 10 PM? They are both lawyers by training turned TV hosts, they are both whip-smart, and they have their own views on the news. Kelly also more than holds her own when she appears on “The O’Reilly Factor,” proving that she does well in a debate setting.

Pairing Kelly with another primetime host would solve a lot of problems: it would freshen up FNC’s primetime lineup with a younger face, and it would ensure that everyone with a primetime contract stays in primetime.

“O’Reilly and Kelly,” “Hannity and Kelly,” “Van Susteren and Kelly,” it isn’t as far fetched as it might seem (Ok, maybe “O’Reilly and Kelly” is kind of far-fetched).

Of course, as some have speculated, Van Susteren could move to weekend prime, which would also solve the problem, although “primetime” on the weekend is not nearly as big a draw as it is during the week. Last Saturday night, FNC came in fourth among younger viewers in primetime. She could also move to an earlier hour like 7 PM, which some people consider “news prime,” although that doesn’t fall within the technical definition of primetime.