It’s not a done deal, but NBC is entertaining the idea of launching Megyn Kelly’s career at their network with a Putin interview. Andy Lack is giving it his all to entice Vladimir Putin to sign on for an NBC interview. The NBC News chairman hopped on a plane to Russia this week with hopes of bringing home the news that he’s landed this big-time booking.
According to AOL News, putting Megyn Kelly across the table from Putin is how NBC sees Kelly’s debut on their channel, but this could cause some major angst. A Putin interview is bigger than big and there are folks who came before Kelly at NBC who would more than likely want that chance. It sounds like there’s just a slight worry about seniority if the interview is granted to NBC.
If Putin does agree to an interview with NBC, Kelly isn’t cemented to that gig. NBC has some veteran journalists who are more than capable of doing a fine job at interviewing the Russian leader, but they don’t have what Kelly has — a history with Donald Trump.
Despite Matt Lauer and Lester Holt being part of the Peacock Network family for a long time, a Kelly-Putin interview would more than likely gather more viewers. If NBC wanted to get the best bang for their buck, they would put Kelly in that spot if Putin is up for this interview.
Kelly’s presence at NBC has already ruffled a few feathers with an hour of the Tamron Hall and Al Roker Today Show getting cut to make room for Kelly. While Roker is still there for the duration, Hall decided to leave once hearing they had to make room for Megyn Kelly’s new morning show. Even an offer of millions to stay didn’t change Hall’s mind.
Kelly, who turned down a $100 million contract with Fox News to move over to NBC, wasn’t as missed on the Fox News channel as people originally thought she would be. Her contract ended with Fox last week, and because she was still under their terms since vacating the Fox News room, she couldn’t appear on NBC.
At first people asked where Megyn Kelly was and she seemed to have followers chomping at the bit to get her back on the air, no matter where that was. Any worries of Fox News losing prime-time viewers with Kelly’s departure were soon put to rest with the debut of Tucker Carlson. He has almost doubled the ratings of Kelly in the news hour he took over for The Kelly Files.
Back in January it was already evident that Tucker took that news hour once belonging to Kelly and made it his own by doubling the viewers. The Hill reported how Carlson doubled the ratings of his predecessor, Kelly, in an article published at the beginning of the year.
Many, including Kelly’s die-hard fans, didn’t think this was possible. E! News reported back in January how she was so popular at the time that the $100 million contract offer from Fox was a major attempt at keeping her on the network. Kelly blasted to fame after clashing with Trump when she moderated the first Fox-hosted Republican debate.
Many believed it was actually the Kelly-Trump sparring match that brought Kelly up in the ranks. While she was popular at Fox News before her row with Trump, the world didn’t know her name until that Republican debate and the jockeying of Twitter insults that followed.
With Kelly’s connection to Trump, despite it being one of a negative connotation, one can’t help wonder if this was another factor in attempting to get Putin on board for Kelly’s launch pad on NBC.
According to BizPac News, Lack has his work cut out for him when it comes to attempting to book Putin. They report that “Lack will have to overcome any bad feelings lingering with the Russians after he claimed in 2015 that the Russian government-sponsored news channel, RT, was slanting its coverage with the Islamic State’s point of view.”
BizPac doesn’t see Kelly as a shoo-in for this interview, as her future NBC colleagues have the seniority over her. The BizPac article suggests that “Kelly may have to take a backseat to this one.” Still, with Kelly’s history with Trump and all the attempts made to try and affiliate Trump with Putin, the big money would probably lean towards Kelly being in that interviewer’s chair across from Putin. That is, of course, “if” and “when” that day comes.
If NBC wants to maximize the impact of this projected Putin interview, then they are going to want to go with Kelly. Will they go to that extent despite the chance of creating inner turmoil at their station
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]