GALLERY: Biggest TV Stories of 2016: ALL CROPS: 530292868 MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly
Credit: Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images

Megyn Kelly closed Tuesday night's episode of The Kelly File on Fox News with a farewell message to her audience, hours after it was announced she'll join NBC News later this year.

"Finally tonight, a personal and professional note, from me to you. After more than a dozen years, at Fox News, I have decided to pursue a new challenge," Kelly said. "This is a tough decision for me because I love this show, our staff, my crew, my colleagues here at Fox — and you, all of you. Those who write me the lovely hand-written notes asking about my kids, and even those who very rarely complain on Twitter about our coverage after a show or a presidential debate."

Kelly added that while she didn't know most of the audience personally, the relationship she had with each viewer left the host with the "kind of feeling that makes one feel connected to another human being."

"And that, after all, is why I believe we're here: human connection," Kelly said. "The truth is, I need more of that in my life. In particular when it comes to my children, who are 7, 5, and 3. So I'll be leaving Fox News at the week's end and starting a new adventure, joining the journalists at NBC News, who I deeply admire."

Earlier Tuesday, it was revealed Kelly will become part of NBC News later this year, acting as host of a daily daytime talk show as well as the anchor on a new Sunday night news broadcast. (Kelly will also cover breaking news, special events, and politics for NBC as warranted.) Her final day at Fox News is set for this coming Friday.

"I am very grateful for NBC for this opportunity, and I am deeply thankful to Fox News for the wonderful 12 years I've had here.," Kelly said. "I've grown up here and been given every chance a young reporter could have ever asked for. The Murdoch family has been kind and good to me at every turn and my colleagues are like a second family to me. So I will miss them and this show and you, and I hope our human connection continues, albeit over a different line. Thank you for watching, with love."

Kelly's on-air comments echo a statement she posted via Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. "Over a dozen years ago I started at Fox News in a job that would change my life. Now, I have decided to end my time at FNC, incredibly enriched for the experiences I've had," she wrote. "I have agreed to join NBC News, where I will be launching a new daytime show Monday through Friday, along with a Sunday evening news magazine program. I will also participate in NBC's breaking news coverage and its political and special events coverage. While I will greatly miss my colleagues at Fox, I am delighted to be joining the NBC News family and taking on a new challenge. I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters."

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