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Soundbite: Roger Ailes Wants To Advance The Runners, Not Hit Home Runs

“She recalls that the Fox News chief Roger Ailes, known as a talent spotter, said to her, ‘The only way you can disappoint me is if you try to hit a home run instead of a single.'”

FNC anchor Megyn Kelly describing her boss, FNC Chairman Roger Ailes in a NYT profiles today.

Megyn Kelly’s new two-hour 1pmET show, America Live, premieres today on Fox News and she talked to the New York TimesBrian Stelter ahead of the premiere. The full section about Ailes’ advice:

When she was invited to substitute as an anchor for the first time, she recalls that the Fox News chief Roger Ailes, known as a talent spotter, said to her, “The only way you can disappoint me is if you try to hit a home run instead of a single.” Fox viewers noticed Ms. Kelly almost immediately.

Mr. Ailes repeated the advice after she was promoted to the afternoon shift. She interprets the comment to mean “just do a solid newscast.”

It’s an interesting insight to the thought process of one of the most successful TV news executives ever. He’s asking Kelly to perform successfully (and keeping the already strong ratings stable) without swinging for the fences – it would be ‘disappointing’ if she tried to go for the home run, even if it succeeded.

And this idea of paying your dues, albeit successfully, could pay dividends for Kelly. When asked about the idea of a prime time program for Kelly, SVP Michael Clemente said “Let’s see how these two hours go…Has she had a fast rise here? Absolutely. Does she deserve it? Absolutely. What does it lead to? Who knows?”

But as Stelter notes earlier in the article: “Inside the News Corporation, the owner of Fox, Ms. Kelly has been mentioned as a leading candidate for a prime-time anchor job. Fox’s contract with Greta Van Susteren, the longtime 10 p.m. anchor.”

Photo by Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Here’s the preview for Kelly’s new show:

• In other Fox News news, Shepard Smith, who’s finishing January #1 at 7pmET for the 100th month, is profiled in the Chicago Tribune.

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