NBC’s Megyn Kelly is reportedly doing so poorly at the network that she is bringing down the ratings of other shows.
According to the Wall Street Journal, insiders at NBC are not thrilled with Kelly’s massive show budget, and local affiliate stations are even less happy with declining ratings. NBC poached Kelly from Fox News last year to the tune of a $69 million, three-year contract.
Nielsen ratings data shows that “Megyn Kelly Today” is averaging 2.4 million viewers an episode, 18 percent below what her time slot was averaging last season.
The Wall Street Journal also argued that her ratings are damaging the following hour of “Today” with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, noting that their average ratings have dropped 6 percent.
Kelly’s poor ratings are quite the blight for NBC, which relies on “Today” as its “main profit center.”
“‘Today’ generates more than $500 million in revenue and profits of more than $100 million annually, people close to the show said,” the WSJ report explains. “‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is vastly more expensive for NBC than its predecessor.”
Ken Selvaggi, vice president and general manager of WAVE-TV, told WSJ that his audience for “Megyn Kelly Today” is 40 percent smaller than what it was a year ago.
“We’re certainly not happy with the Nielsen numbers,” he said.
NBC contends that Kelly’s show is profitable and Kelly said she is still getting her footing and that building a successful show takes time.
NBC Chairman Andy Lack also defends hiring Kelly, stating, “Megyn has continued to prove that she’s a tremendously skilled, hard-hitting journalist, who adds valuable insight and analysis to all she touches.”