NBC poured millions of dollars into “Megyn Kelly Today” and, in return, they’ve been rewarded with a massive drop in viewership.
The Peacock network poached Kelly from Fox last year, enticing her from the conservative flagship network with a three-year, $69 million contract, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But Kelly’s introduction to NBC, premiering at the 9 a.m. hour in September, was met with almost immediate controversy — a feud with Jane Fonda that the morning show host dragged out for months — and she never drew the viewership that the network was looking for. Her Sunday night newsmagazine show was an even bigger disappointment and was quickly shrunk to sporadic primetime specials.
So far, Kelly, a Bethlehem Central High School and Albany Law School graduate, has lost 18 percent of the viewers over last year’s numbers, averaging just 2.4 million per episode, according to Nielsen ratings. She’s also lost 28 percent of viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.
Kelly asked for patience.
“Our show is a baby. We’re six months old,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “Morning TV is obviously new to me and I’m figuring it out as we go … I think any show needs about a year to just find its footing.”
NBC President Andy Lack also defended the hiring.
“Megyn has continued to prove that she’s a tremendously skilled, hard-hitting journalist, who adds valuable insight and analysis to all she touches,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
Kelly’s sinking viewership also appears to be affecting Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford’s 10 a.m. show, according to the Wall Street Journal; their hour has seen a 6 percent drop in viewers and 19 percent among adults 25 to 54.
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