Considering all the PR hoopla surrounding NBC’s previous signing of Megyn Kelly to host the third hour of Today, there were probably a lot of people wondering if the Peacock Network was shooting itself in the foot by letting her go in the aftermath of her comments about blackface. As it turns out, it actually hasn’t been a problem at all. In fact, if you were judging the situation strictly by the ratings alone, it would seem that the suits couldn’t be happier.
Yes, it’s true that last Friday night Megyn finalized her departure deal with NBC for what is estimated to be a pay-out of $30 million. In a statement, the network said, “The parties resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of the network. She’s free to pursue any job opportunity.” And you can be sure that she will, with more than a few people wondering if she’ll make her way back to FOX News, from where she was snatched in the first place.
The $30 million payout sounds huge, but in the long run, it probably won’t amount to much as far as NBC (and, in turn, advertising revenue) is concerned. Certainly not with news that for the second time since she left, hour three of Today has beaten Live! With Kelly and Ryan in total viewers and the all-important 25-54 demographic. This happened during the week of Dec. 24, 2018.
Reports Page Six, “Before that December week of shows, NBC’s third hour most recently beat Live! in November — after Kelly left Today amid the storm she caused with her infamous on-air comments on blackface over Halloween — and in December 2016, when the hour was called Today’s Take and hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall. The ratings show that outside of those two wins, the third hour has greatly narrowed the gap with Live!” Incidentally, the hiring of Megyn for that hour resulted in Tamron resigning from the network. Later this year, ABC will debut a syndicated talk show with her as host.
The growing power that is hour three of Today is now hosted by Craig Melvin, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, and, of course, audience favorite, Al Roker.
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