Megyn Kelly is apparently unlikely to win any popularity contests at the NBC News 30 Rockefeller Center studios in New York City. Megyn Kelly Today, the 9 a.m. Eastern time edition of the Today show franchise that she anchors, supposedly harbors a toxic atmosphere, according to one or more insiders.
Kelly famously jumped from Fox News to NBC for a three-year contract that pays her $23 million each year, but “the general feeling is that she will not last three years,” a network insider supposedly told the New York Post. For one thing, NBC execs apparently were not pleased with her recent feud with Jane Fonda.
Moreover, the Post claims, the culture within the Megyn Kelly Today production is anything but nurturing.
“A high-ranking NBC veteran said that the show atmosphere is so tense that staffers frequently ‘cry’ on set…According to the high-ranking NBC veteran, network execs and talent question Kelly’s longevity at the Peacock network. ‘She is hated inside the Today show and is seen as tarnishing the brand, out-of-control and selfish,’ said the NBC source, explaining that celebrity interviews are a key element of Today — and Kelly is playing with fire by attacking guests such as Fonda.”
Other unnamed sources describe the atmosphere as toxic and negative. The Post previously reported that a writer on the show was allegedly fired after complaining about a “toxic and demeaning” work environment.
Megyn Kelly Today, which airs in front of a live studio audience, supposedly also has difficulties filling the room. Previously, Kelly’s 60-Minutes-style news magazine show, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, flopped.
Even though her viewership has popped somewhat with coverage of sexual harassment scandals and the #MeToo movement, Megyn Kelly has encountered challenges in trying to make the transition from prime-time, Fox News Channel news anchor to daytime diva focusing mostly on lifestyle and entertainment on Megyn Kelly Today.
In terms of ratings and general audience acceptance, liberals (and especially liberal Twitter) will likely never warm up to her because of her Fox News resume, while conservatives presumably won’t forgive her for turning negative on Donald Trump during the 2016 election season. In short, across the ideological spectrum, viewers generally don’t find her relatable in her current TV role. Along those lines, the social media reaction to her pro-gun-control conversion following the Parkland mass shooting is probably what you would expect.
On her very first Today broadcast on September 26, 2017, Megyn Kelly declared that she was done with politics, for the most part, the Post recalled.
“Not everyone is buying the transformation. ‘You take someone who had a show. . . on Fox about politics and then you say, ‘Well that wasn’t really me.’ That’s ridiculous,’ said TV producer Shelley Ross…TV producer Ross said that Kelly was a ‘miscalculation’ by management, noting she’s ‘the wrong personality for the morning audience.'”
A publicist separately implied that NBC may decide to put Megyn Kelly back on the news beat for the balance of her contract as a way to move her off the downtrending 9 a.m. hosting slot.
Eyebrows were recently raised when it was revealed that Megyn Kelly turned out to be the only Today show star staying home at 30 Rock rather than heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. NBC even brought back Katie Couric to handle hosting duties there.
“[Kelly’s] January Nielsen ratings in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic are nearly 30 percent lower than they were for Tamron Hall and Al Roker’s show when it was in the same time slot last year,” the Post added. The shortfall has also adversely affected the 10 a.m. Today platform.
The Post article also quoted a Fox News makeup artist who claimed that Megyn Kelly was a mean girl at her former network home.
As alluded to above, Megyn Kelly’s issues may fundamentally revolve around believability, plus a lack of a solid fan base, which may place her in a no-win situation. For example, Kelly detractors contend that when the ex-Kelly File anchor and former corporate lawyer challenged Donald Trump during the high-profile, August 2015 GOP presidential debate over his past disparaging comments about women (“only Rosie O’Donnell,” the future president famously quipped), it was opportunistically about careerism and auditioning for another network — which turned out to be NBC — rather than a legitimate journalistic inquiry.