In an apparent reversal of an earlier plan, Megyn Kelly won’t be traveling to South Korea to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics there after all. Instead, she will anchor her 9 a.m. Eastern time NBC News Today show platform from the New York City studio at Rockefeller Center, as usual, Fox News reports.
Today show colleagues Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, and other luminaries are all heading to South Korea, however, in what is typically a high-profile, plum assignment for NBC personalities and a way to promote the brand and expand the audience after the Olympics wrap up.
One insider told Fox News the following about Megyn Kelly remaining stateside during the Winter Olympics.
“This is incredibly embarrassing for Megyn. Anybody who’s anybody at NBC goes to the Olympics.”
Media coverage of Megyn Kelly’s rough TV ratings after she took over the 9 o’clock hour of the Today franchise as host of Megyn Kelly Today have perhaps unfairly died down now that the ratings have popped with her coverage of various sexual harassment scandals. Media columnist Joe Concha, who writes for The Hill, suggested that it is still unusual for NBC News to decide to keep Megyn Kelly at 30 Rock during the Winter Olympics.
“It is odd that NBC News would leave its highest-paid host at home. Megyn’s ratings are improving a bit as the show has focused on the sexual harassment issue, but she could still use the kind of exposure and interviews you only get when physically at the Olympics.”
It’s unclear at this point whether NBC or Megyn Kelly decided that she would remain in Manhattan during the Olympics. NBC is spending about $1 billion to cover the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, which run from February 9 to February 25. Megyn Kelly’s absence is even more surprising perhaps given the headline-making, geopolitical tensions in the region plus her hard news background from her previous gig as the anchor of The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel.
As TV fans are well aware, Megyn Kelly’s attempt to reinvent herself from prime-time news anchor to daytime diva focusing on lifestyle and entertainment has encountered challenges. Several well-publicized awkward moments, for example, with celebrities such as the cast of Will and Grace, Jane Fonda, and Tom Brokaw probably haven’t helped matters. Reports have emerged that for various reasons, celebs are unenthusiastic about going on her show.
More recently, Megyn Kelly supposedly got into hot water with NBC execs for trying to book Catt Sadler for a TV interview. Saddler quit the E! network, which is owned by NBCUniversal, in a dispute over her salary when she discovered her male co-host earned twice her pay, the New York Post reported. Execs presumably were also less than thrilled when Kelly provided a forum for a Matt Lauer accuser.
Megyn Kelly also sparked outrage last week when she appeared to claim that fat-shaming was a good thing. She has since walked back her support for fat-shaming in the clip below.
“I said something yesterday on the show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation we need to have. We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite.” #MegynTODAY pic.twitter.com/aNhyZAIjd5— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) January 12, 2018
Megyn Kelly is scheduled to participate in NBC’s prime-time coverage of President Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.
As Megyn Kelly’s status insofar as 2018 Winter Olympics coverage is concerned is a developing story, please check back for updates.