Just a few weeks before “Megyn Kelly Today” becomes the new third hour of NBC’s “Today,” some NBC insiders are reportedly very worried about its prospects and whether Kelly will prove worthy of the $17 million NBC is reportedly investing in her each year.
The Daily Beast has the scoop about what's gnawing at the minds of at least some in the inner circles at NBC:
[A]ccording to network insiders, her new role is prompting “questions internally about who her audience is exactly” as well as a sense of “total panic” concerning the intense media scrutiny that will unavoidably attend the launch of Megyn Kelly Today, to say nothing of the need to publicly vindicate NBC News Chairman Andy Lack’s $17 million gamble (reportedly her eye-popping annual compensation) when he wooed her away from Fox.
It was not a good omen for Kelly’s daytime prospects when Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly posted disappointing numbers, was reportedly pulled from its limited summer run July 30 two episodes short of the expected 10, and attracted unwelcome controversy with the Alex Jones segment, notably protests from the relatives of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims (including 20 young children killed in a mass shooting that Jones had called a hoax).
“The Sunday show laid such an egg that any claims that she had automatic star power, to get people in the door to see what she was doing, have been disavowed,” television news analyst Andrew Tyndall told The Daily Beast. “The stardom of the celebrity anchor was a phenomenon of the 1980s back when [flamboyant ABC News president] Roone Arledge was around. In this day and age, the shows make the anchors, not the other way around.”
As The Daily Beast also pointed out, just because her Sunday show was a flop does not necessarily mean that her Today show will likewise falter.
But you can certainly understand why there might be some sweats breaking out at NBC.
My own opinion is that Kelly's brash, “Megyn Moments” that appealed to old white men watching Fox News will not go over so well with the ethnically diverse women in the Today audience. And let’s face it, Kelly did a fabulous job of playing a racist on TV during her Fox gig.
Just watch her attack African American Rep. Al Green (D-TX) below, in a December 2, 2014 clip from The Kelly File, as he tried to politely discuss the Congressional Black Caucus’ “hands up” protests after a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decided not to charge white police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of unarmed black teen, Michael Brown. Then ask yourself, is this a person who's a good fit to host a morning show?
Ain’t only Megan Kelly that will be short-lived there. The execs should go before she does. There’s dumb and then there’s dumb. Jeez.
Megyn’s tired shtick of tossing softball questions to right-wingers and shouting over liberals won’t play well on a real news network. Andy Lack will be unemployed within a year.
Her Sunday failure proves she’s no major league interviewer like Mike Wallace. Scratch that.
For a daily morning show I’d recommend, as much as possible, she dump politics and stick to general interest topics. Emphasize her lighter side. Her political views, when brought up, need to mainstream.
She’s not just appealing to angry, partisan political junkies any longer.