By Claire Zillman
January 5, 2017

There were lots of huge dollar sums swirling alongside rumors that Megyn Kelly might defect from Fox News. But the star host’s impending move to NBC News was reportedly determined not by money, but by flexibility. The 46-year-old chose NBC despite it not matching Fox’s $20 million per year bid because it offered her a daytime slot that would allow for more family time.

This isn’t the first instance of Kelly choosing work-life balance over the big bucks.

In a conversation with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women summit in 2014, Kelly chronicled how she’d moved from a career as a lawyer to journalism about a decade earlier—in part because the news industry offered more flexibility.

“I was burnt out,” she said of her legal career. “I was about eight years into it, and I realized I am more interesting than this and I am more interested than this.” The hours were horrendous, she said. “All my weekends, all my vacations got burned; overnights, 3 a.m. all the time.” She wanted more stability at home and at work: “I realized I could never have a full life with the life I was leading back then, with the profession that I was pursuing back then; there just wasn’t time for it. So I wound up going to a profession that does allow for more flexibility.”

Though her motivation was the same back then, the pay scale was a bit different. When she left her high-paying legal practice, it was for a TV job that paid $17,000 a year.




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