For all of her success at Fox News, Megyn Kelly had a bumpy ride from the start with NBC, a point that is being driven home even more in the aftermath of her on-air defense of Halloween blackface. That, of course, resulted in the cancellation of her daily show, Megyn Kelly Today, and her seemingly imminent departure from the network. It seems that hour three of the Today franchise — hosted by anchors from the main series, including Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, Al Roker, and Savannah Guthrie (a permanent host is reportedly being worked on) — has actually seen ratings for the show increase. Not dramatically, but there’s definitely been an uptick.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, the first week after Megyn’s departure saw viewership grow five percent, going from 2.5 million viewers in her final week to 2.6 million. There was also a 10 percent increase in women viewers age 18-48, and a six percent increase in women age 25-54, which probably says a lot about the former host’s appeal, or lack thereof, to some female viewers. The site quotes television news analyst Andrew Tyndall as saying, “That absolutely comes as no surprise at all. She was a speed bump placed right in the middle of a four-hour block of programming, dismantling the sense of teamwork on that set and the flow that will get you all the way through from the hard news at 7 a.m. to the light talk through 11 o’clock.”
Megyn had originally been snatched up from Fox News to host a prime-time news magazine that only lasted a handful of episodes before it was canceled due to low viewership. Her next stop was Today, where she never scored the kind of ratings that NBC was hoping for. Bill O’Reilly, who also used to work at Fox News, at first criticized her blackface defense to the Washington Examiner, commenting, “I was surprised that Ms. Kelly did not understand… the horrible history of blackface in this country. That this technique, if you will, was used to marginalize, denigrate, and mock blacks. That was its primary use. So you can’t justify it by saying you were a kid and it wasn’t a big deal. It was a big deal.”
Even this storm could have been weathered, he mused, except for one thing: “NBC wanted out and they found a way.”
No word on what’s next for Megyn Kelly.
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