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‘CNN Made Me A Huge Offer’: Megyn Kelly Says She Turned It Down Because She Knew CNN Viewers Would Hate Her
Journalist Megyn Kelly speaks during the Fortune's Most Powerful Women conference in Dana Point, California, U.S., on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. The conference brings together leading women in business, government, philanthropy, education and the arts for conversations to inspire and deliver advice. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Independent journalist Megyn Kelly told radio host Buck Sexton that when she ultimately decided to leave Fox News, then-CNN president Jeff Zucker had made her “a huge offer.”

Kelly, who initially went to NBC following her tenure at Fox News, said that she turned the offer down because she did not believe there was an audience for her at CNN — a fact that she said veteran “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace was likely learning firsthand after making the jump himself.

Sexton, a former CIA officer in the Counterterrorism Center, said that after appearing as a guest on a number of different shows across multiple networks, he had gotten to know some of the producers and assistants — the people who he said knew everything about what went on behind closed doors.

That, Sexton explained, was why he had not been shocked when CNN cut ties with former “PrimeTime” anchor Chris Cuomo and when former network president Jeff Zucker resigned.

Kelly jumped in to mock CNN then, saying, “Who is the moron at CNN who actually thought, ‘you know what we need with our ratings in the toilet?’ More of us. We need more CNN.”

Kelly’s comments echoed the thoughts of Sirius XM host and veteran shock-jock Howard Stern, who asked prior to the launch of CNN’s new streaming service CNN+ why anyone would pay for more content from a network that nobody wanted to watch for free.

Sexton responded with a joke aimed at reports of low subscriber numbers, adding, “I do love all of the jokes about how while Elon is offering to buy Twitter for tens of billions, there are lots of people out there right now who are willing to buy CNN+ for tens of dollars.”

The discussion turned to Chris Wallace, who jumped to CNN+ after 18 years of hosting “Fox News Sunday,” and both Sexton and Kelly appeared to agree that Wallace had been lucky to keep his position despite lackluster numbers. They also questioned whether he believed simply opposing former President Donald Trump would help him win over the viewers at CNN+, and argued that it wouldn’t. Kelly said that they likely saw Wallace as a useful “foil” when it came to Trump, but that would not translate to a massive audience.

“He was in last place every week, every year, every month. He was always in last, and they still paid him,” Kelly said before pivoting to reveal her own dealings with CNN as she made the decision to leave Fox News.

Noting that her main goal had been to free up more time to spend with her kids, Kelly said that she had considered going to CNN.

“I considered going to CNN. CNN made me a huge offer. Huge,” she said. “I said no, Buck, because I knew: who is my fanbase going to be over there? I knew who my fans were and I knew that my Fox viewers were not going to follow me to CNN and that the CNN viewers were going to hate my guts.”

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