2018-04-25 17:45:55 UTC
Megyn Kellys transition to Today host has been rough. Ratings for Sunday Night
With Megyn Kelly on NBC News were in the toilet and reduced to occasional
specials. A new report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that the cost of
Kellys spiral has been highmore expensive than the salaries of several other
big names at NBC.
The ratings for Kellys hour have declined by 18 percent since this same time
last year, according to the WSJ. She does even worse in the specific demographic
targeted by Today, adults aged 25 to 54, where ratings are down 28 percent
(though Kelly has gotten a few boosts with her coverage of the #MeToo movement).
Nielson data indicates that this dip has hurt the hour of Today hosted by Hoda
Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, which is down 6 percent overall and 19 percent in
that key demographic. This has made Kellys show especially unpopular with local
stations that carry NBC programming and have a big influence on the networks
decisions. For example, WAVE-TV in Louisville, Kentucky, says the audience for
Kellys hour is over 40% smaller than what what it brought in a year ago.
From the WSJ:
Megyn Kelly Today is vastly more expensive for NBC than its predecessor, which
was more clearly an extension of the Today show with shared resources. The
combined salaries of previous hosts Al Roker and Tamron Hall were less than half
of Ms. Kellys $23 million-a-year payday, according to several people familiar
with the matter. Ms. Kelly declined to comment on her salary.
The show also carries a much higher budget, including staff who work as Ms.
Kellys stylist and publicist. Plus, NBC News spent nearly $10 million
redesigning a studio for the show that it also has to rent.
Tamron Hall was abruptly removed from her spot on Today just before Kelly was
added to the roster. She left NBC shortly after. Insiders stated that the
seemingly disastrous decision to lure Kelly over with an enormous paycheck was
based on the old idea that it was the face delivering the news that mattered,
i.e. the Matt Lauer model. Kelly has not brought her Fox News following with her
to NBC, and has had trouble connecting with their generally less conservative
Our show is a baby. Were six months old, Megyn Kelly said in her shows
defense. Morning TV is obviously new to me and Im figuring it out as we go I
think any show needs about a year to just find its footing.