Megyn Kelly’s new role as a Today show host is reportedly making NBC News executives nervous over concerns that she may lack appeal to the daytime franchise’s traditional demographic.
That her Sunday night news magazine tanked in the ratings has not been reassuring to network decision-makers. Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly ended after eight episodes of a planned 10 and may never return. NBC insiders were supposedly freaking out this summer because of the dismal viewership.
The former Fox News Channel anchor who hosted the high-rated Kelly File officially went to work for NBC News on May 1 after declining a lucrative offer to stay at FNC.
The one-hour Megyn Kelly Today premieres on at 9 a.m. Eastern on September 25 before a live audience. In the meantime, she has been making occasional appearances on Today and also toured some NBC affiliates around the country as part of the run-up to her show’s debut. Kelly has also been spending a lot of time on various red carpets.
Complicating matters from a ratings standpoint may be that Megyn Kelly will directly compete in most markets against Kelly Ripa’s popular show, which is syndicated by ABC. Tamron Hall, who some media industry observers feel NBC pushed out to make room for Megyn Kelly, is prepping a new talk show to be produced by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
According to The Daily Beast, NBC is panicking over how the Megyn Kelly show will play out.
“Yet, according to network insiders, her new role is prompting ‘questions internally about who her audience is exactly’ as well as a sense of ‘total panic’ concerning the intense media scrutiny that will unavoidably attend the launch of Megyn Kelly Today, to say nothing of the need to publicly vindicate NBC News Chairman Andy Lack’s $17 million gamble (reportedly her eye-popping annual compensation) when he wooed her away from Fox…The nature of Megyn Kelly Today‘s mix of newsworthy interviews versus the traditional daytime fare of personal confession, cooking, fashion, and entertainment segments remains unclear.”
On the other hand, the drawing power of the long-running Today platform may carry Megyn Kelly, 46, over the finish line. “She has the safety net of being in the Today show cocoon,” a daytime TV expert told The Daily Beast.
The challenge for Megyn Kelly perhaps is that those Fox News viewers disillusioned with her over all the anti-Trump content on The Kelly File seem unlikely to follow her to NBC. On the other side of the coin, more liberal NBC viewers could be reluctant to welcome Megyn Kelly into their living rooms because of her FNC resume. Or, as an Inquisitr commenter previously observed, “The left hates her and the right has disowned her.”
Reports have previously surfaced that her former Fox News colleagues derisively referred to her as “Me-again,” while her new co-workers at NBC have been supposedly put off by her diva-like behavior.
Some Megyn Kelly detractors contend that when the ambitious media personality and former corporate lawyer famously challenged Donald Trump during the August 2015 GOP presidential debate over his past disparaging comments about women (“only Rosie O’Donnell,” the future president famously quipped), it was more about careerism and auditioning for another network — which turned out to be NBC — than a legitimate journalistic inquiry.
Do you think that Megyn Kelly has enough crossover chemistry to make her Today show hosting gig a success for NBC?
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