NBC Insider: ‘Total Panic’ Over Megyn Kelly’s Morning Show
Megyn Kelly begins her 9 a.m. NBC show in four weeks’ time. NBC colleagues are nervous that the poor showing of her Sunday night current-affairs show will follow her to ‘Today.’
Four weeks before the Sept. 25 debut of Megyn Kelly Today—the 9 a.m. replacement for the venerable morning show’s third hour, Today’s Take—some NBC insiders are expressing doubts, and even worries, about the network news division’s plan to scrap a reliable long-running program in order to morph the former Fox News anchor and Donald Trump nemesis into an accessible, female-friendly personality for an ethnically diverse daytime viewership.
Officially, of course, NBC News is excited and upbeat about the new show, which will feature a live audience in a specially built studio at 30 Rock.
A self-described “combination of Mike Wallace, Oprah Winfrey, and Larry the Cable Guy” (as she famously confided to pernicious conspiracy monger Alex Jones in his leaked audiotape of her telephone pitch to secure an interview for her Sunday magazine show), the 46-year-old Kelly is a gifted broadcaster.
She thrived as a prime-time star on the right-leaning cable channel with a male-skewing viewership—“a TV network for people 55 to dead,” as the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes once joked.
“A lot of people were watching the magazine show to try to get a sense of her appeal to the daytime demographic and a sense of how she would be outside of the Fox environment,” said a veteran daytime television impresario, who noted that the nationwide audience in that time period is not only heavily female but from 25 to 30 percent African American and Latino. “Fox News skews very male… I always tend to think of her as more of a guy’s girl than a girl’s girl… It’s extremely challenging, and I’m not sure Megyn’s personality really connects with women.”
In recent months, Kelly has been a regular presence on the 7-9 a.m. Today show (contributing “Summer of Yes” segments in which she trekked into the wilderness with her husband and two young children and strummed the guitar by the campfire, among other warm and fuzzy pursuits).
Off camera, she has cozied up to coworkers at 30 Rock and elsewhere, and has dutifully traveled to far-flung NBC affiliate stations to schmooze general managers and local talent.
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Sundance wrote:Well, duh. Think about it. Most women don’t like her, except for her BFF Sheryl Sandberg, and most men can’t stand her, so who exactly is her target audience? It’s a little challenging to build an entire morning broadcast audience around people who don’t like you. The pending mega-fail is transparently predictable…
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