Megyn Kelly currently anchors "America Live," a daytime news program on Fox News Channel which launched in February of 2010. She previously co-anchored "America's Newsroom" with Bill Hemmer and appears weekly on "The O'Reilly Factor" in a segment entitled The Kelly File.
Prior to joining Fox News Channel, Kelly served as a general assignment reporter for ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington. Before becoming a journalist, Kelly practiced law as a corporate litigator. Her legal knowledge no doubt assisted her as she provided coverage for the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John Roberts. She also reported on the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
You had dreams of being a cowgirl while growing up in Albany, N.Y., then started your career as a corporate litigator. How did you end up as a Fox morning news co-host?
Well, cowgirl was tough given that I didn't know how to ride a horse, didn't have a ranch and grew out of my favorite red and black cowgirl outfit by the time I was 8, so I needed a fallback. Being a litigator was a bit like being in the wild west but ultimately it wasn't the life for me. I had long thought I would enjoy journalism, and when I was ready to leave the law, I asked a friend in my guitar class in Chicago (who was a reporter at WMAQ) for some advice. She helped me put together a resume tape, introduced me to some people, I started taking classes at night, and before I knew it, I had landed my first reporting job at WJLA in Washington D.C. Within a year, I was offered a reporting job at Fox News Channel and the rest, as they say, is history.
The perception of women on TV news shows is that they’re blond, beautiful and bimbos. And then there are all the “Megyn Kelly is hot” videos on YouTube, the “Leggy Meggy” comments as well as Brit Hume’s observation that you are “strikingly attractive,” which few people would say about Mr. Hume or most male TV personalities. Do those comments and perceptions bother you, or can a career women use her attractiveness to work for her?
Being called attractive doesn't bother me, no, and please burn all my Gloria Steinem writings if I ever get to the point where it does. I think women's looks in general (not just in journalism which of course is a visual medium, but in many professions) are more subject to scrutiny. Would it be nice if we could be evaluated based solely on our performance and not based on appearance? Sure, but it's really not something I think about - in my family, there was never any currency in being "pretty." Funny, inquisitive, engaging - that's what earned you points at the dinner table.
You divorced in 2006, married Douglas Brunt in 2008 and became mom to Edward Yates in 2009. Like your rise from a reporting job at an ABC affiliate in D.C. to your role at Fox now, that’s a lot of change in a short amount of time. What drives you?
The knowledge that this is not a dress rehearsal, that the most important things in life are love and family, and that while a great career is an incredible blessing for which I am truly grateful, it does not define me as a person.
What is the hardest thing to manage in your daily life?
Squeezing in time to exercise - it seems all of my energy is put into finding an excuse to avoid it.
Many new mothers struggle with going back to work full time; others can’t wait. How has that experience been for you?
I am looking forward to it, and I feel like Yates (if he could talk) would support it. I get so much out of my job - I come home from it feeling happy and full of new information and perspective and with experiences to share. All of that will benefit him, and I know we will appreciate our time together more than ever.
Are you and your husband equal partners when it comes to parenting? In what ways?
Absolutely, Doug has taken an equal role in the parenting responsibilities. I'm happy to report that he enjoys doing it too but then, God blessed us with a good baby. We both look forward to spending time with Yates - he's fun to be around. Even the late nights and early mornings haven't been too bad - maybe we are still on a post-delivery high, but so far, we are both genuinely enjoying parenthood and it is definitely a partnership.
Has motherhood made you discover something new about yourself and your husband?
How important it is to have a very healthy sense of humor.
When you were covering the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, you said you wished you could have asked Sotomayor’s mother — a widow living in the projects — how she managed to raise such a confident, driven young woman. What hopes do you have for your son, and how will you raise him?
Far too many, and too private, to cover here.
In an interview you had with family and divorce mediator Laurie Puhn, she advised couples to schedule fun together. Do you and your husband do that, and what do you love to do together?
We don't schedule fun in our lives because, thankfully, it's unnecessary. Who settles for a mundane life punctuated by scheduled stints of fun? We have fun just being together, whether it's walking our dogs, being with Yates or just spending time on the couch catching up on "Lost" (bring on season 6!) .
Which leads to the next question: Your husband says you’re “romantic and passionate.” You said that of the seven deadly sins, you’re lust. How important is lust, romance and passion to a marriage, and can it withstand babies and a two-career family?
Passion - which I do think is very important - follows easily if you stay connected to your partner. The things that make the two of us passionate about each other are present in our everyday lives - it's not things like flowers (which incidentally I do not like to receive - Doug knows I'd always prefer a handwritten note). Instead, it's your partner's character and personality and how he treats you throughout the day. As for how passion is affected by careers and a baby - they only help it! What could be more attractive than seeing your husband come home from a productive day at work, scoop up your baby boy and shower him with love?
As a former litigator, you know how to argue and get your way. That may work in court and perhaps in TV journalism, but does it work in a marriage, too?
I'm happy to say my husband and I rarely argue but when we do I'm all wife and no litigator. Problem is, he's extremely smart and usually quite reasonable so it's tough to argue with him successfully. I like what Dr. Phil (yes, Dr. Phil) says about "winning" a fight with your spouse - how can you "win" when the person you love more than anyone is "losing?"
You revealed your childhood nicknames were "Tigger Montague" and "Magnetta.” There have to be stories behind that! How’d you earn those names?
Magnetta was compliments of my mother; I have no idea where it came from but she sometimes uses it to this day. Tigger is not my nickname, it's my shopping alter ego - she is the version of me who goes out and overspends.
Any nicknames yet for Edward?
We are calling him (and had always planned to call him) by his middle name, Yates. I never really understand the nickname-right-from-birth thing. Most parents agonize over what to name their children. Then they choose a name and immediately disregard it. We're sticking with Yates.
When Yates is an adult, what do you hope he’ll remember of his childhood?
A lot of laughter, and feeling safe and incredibly loved.