When Megyn Kelly left Fox News Channel for a lucrative contract with NBC, many assumed NBC had pulled off a coup in wooing away a popular prime time cable news anchor.
But Kelly has not adapted well in the change from prime time news to morning show gossip and her ratings have really struggled over the past several months, even pulling down viewership for other programs in NBC’s morning lineup.
As such, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that NBC is now considering shifting Kelly’s program to one hour later in the morning in the hope that it will stem the ratings damage it was doing.
Should the shift occur, Kelly would essentially swap time slots with the final hour of the “Today” program which airs at 10 am ET and is hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
While Kelly’s program in the 9 am hour had seen a drop-off of 32 percent of viewers for that slot from last year, few of those viewers returned to see Lee and Kotb’s 10 am show, which resulted in the ratings for their popular program falling by 26 percent as well.
As a side benefit to the potential shift, Kotb would then be able to complete all of her on-air duties in one three-hour sitting, as she already co-hosts the 7-9 am time slot with Savannah Guthrie.
Since that time slot had already been doing well in terms of ratings, it is hoped that tacking the final hour of “Today” onto the tail end of the first two hours would help that final hours ratings increase. Furthermore, it would provide a more solid lead-in to Kelly’s program at 10 am.
“It’s the smart move,” stated an NBC insider of the potential move. “At the very least that limits the damage already done to Hoda and Kathie Lee — maybe with a strong lead-in from ‘Today’ at 9 a.m., they’ll even pick up some of the viewers they lost since Megyn went on the air.”
Left unmentioned is the astonishing lack of return on investment NBC has received thus far from Kelly, whose ratings have come nowhere close to justifying the $20 million contract she was offered to leave Fox News.
In truth, it may not matter much what time slot NBC sticks Megyn Kelly in as far as ratings go, as viewers across the political spectrum have largely tuned Kelly out.
Once a beloved star at Fox News, Kelly lost a lot of viewer support when she went full-on anti-Trump with regard to her coverage of the candidate-turned-president.
NBC may have thought Kelly’s anti-Trump stance would win over liberal viewers, but that simply hasn’t happened either, and now they are left with an overpaid TV host that nobody really wants to watch.