Fox News Channel has appointed Tom Lowell, current executive producer of The Kelly File, to be VP and managing editor of news. In the new position, Lowell will manage all national and international correspondents, and enterprise investigative reporting, across FNC’s television and digital platforms. He will report to Jay Wallace, EVP News and Editorial for the network, who made the announcement.

Lowell begins his new role January 1. A replacement executive producer for The Kelly File will be named in the new year.

Lowell has a long history with Kelly, so a lot is being read into today’s announcement, what with Kelly’s contract coming up soon and the star taking her time telling Fox News if she’s sticking around or jumping ship.

He began as a producer for Fox News Live and was later promoted to senior producer in 2005. In 2007, Lowell launched weekday show America’s Newsroom with co-anchors Bill Hemmer and Kelly, where he became the executive producer in 2009.

One year later, he launched America Live With Megyn Kelly and executive produced the program for three years, until launching The Kelly File in primetime in October 2013. This year, Lowell oversaw the The Kelly File as it achieved its highest-rated year, with 2.7 million viewers and 518,000 adults 25-54.

In today’s announcement about Lowell’s promotion, Fox News Channel says The Kelly File “remains the second most watched program in cable news.”