NY Times Takes a Look at Megyn Kelly

Photo: The New York Times

The New York Times published a piece Friday examining Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly and other newswomen who have come to prominence in recent years while balancing successful careers with motherhood.  Profiling Kelly and mentioning Erica Hill of “The Early Show” on CBS, Mika Brzezinski  of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and Soledad O’Brien formerly of CNN, the story takes a look at newswomen breaking the stigma that “your’re going to need to choose: you can either have a family or you can be a major anchor.”

The Times examines the daily routine of the Mom/Fox News Anchor, describing  Kelly as a “ex-Jones Day lawyer and blond GQ pinup with the alabaster good looks of Katherine Heigl and the can-do-ism of a former aerobics instructor. ”

The story notes Kelly’s return to a top news job in August after maternity leave following the birth of her second child, which Kelly was very candid about and proud to discuss. While there have been successful female news anchors in the past, the story acknowledges that Kelly and her fellow rising female stars have been able to juggle successful careers as working moms in ways that were not available to the likes of Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer.

These days, Ms. Kelly is up at 6 a.m., after two nighttime nursing sessions with 6-month-old Yardley, to begin the morning round of e-mail catch-up, work preparation and intermittent care of the baby and her older brother, Yates (whose baby pictures Ms. Kelly displayed on air soon after she returned to work).

One October morning, Ms. Kelly was zipping around her Upper West Side rental in skinny J Brand jeans with a baby crooked in one slender arm and a toddler underfoot, chatting with her nanny and her husband, Doug Brunt, a former entrepreneur who is now a novelist.

Soon she was headed to the studio in a livery car, tapping furiously on her BlackBerry and strategizing with Tom Lowell, a producer of the show.

“That’s good, our viewers know him and will be interested,” she said, referring to Mark Fuhrman, the O.J. Simpson murder-case police officer turned commentator, who was booked to talk about Michael Jackson’s doctor. She checked in with her assistant, Abby Emerson, who culls and highlights online articles — usually off newspaper sites, the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast and Ms. Kelly’s favorite, RealClearPolitics.com (Ms. Kelly is not a print news reader).

At Fox, a makeup artist quickly adorned her eyes with individual lashes before Ms. Kelly joined the show’s 10 a.m. production meeting. She corrected a staff member’s figures on Egypt’s Christian population and wrote the tease for one of the day’s stories: “Geithner says Obama has been ‘relentlessly focused’ on jobs — is that true? A fair and balanced report, next.”

The piece also discusses Kelly’s public confrontation with Mike Gallagher, a conservative radio talk-show host who had made disparaging comments about the anchor’s three-month maternity absence.

Kelly claims she often hears on the street “I hate Fox News-but I love you,” but is an admitted fan of the network’s top personality Bill O’Reilly, who she occasionally works with and the Times writes “shares with him a kind of home-and-hearth populism. ”

When asked if she was having fun at her job, the former lawyer told the Times “Guilty!”

“I really am. Before I did this, I had everything going for me on paper. A great law firm job, a doctor husband — this middle-class girl had arrived. But it was not fun.”

Read the rest here.