Struggling Megyn Kelly could be on the move at NBC.
The rationale behind such a move is, according to Page Six, simple to fathom: The 10 a.m. hour is struggling, as those viewers who aren’t connecting with Kelly are ditching the network at 9 a.m. and not coming back.
Ratings published in October last year showed Kelly’s 9 a.m. slot down 32 percent compared to the time slot’s viewership in the previous year, which had a knock-on effect of reducing Gifford and Kotb by 26 percent in the hour afterward.
“It’s the smart move,” an insider told Page Six of the alleged plan of moving Kelly, who signed with NBC in January 2017 for a reported $20 million per year but has battled negative publicity and poorer than expected ratings ever since.
“At the very least that limits the damage already done to Hoda and Kathie Lee—maybe with a strong lead-in from Today at 9 a.m., they’ll even pick up some of the viewers they lost since Megyn went on the air.”
Loyal network insiders sought to rubbish the story, telling Page Six that Kelly’s numbers are heading upward, while another quipped it was “just another ‘timeless’ rumor about Megyn Kelly.”
However, the move would make sense for Kotb, who has successfully co-anchored the 7 to 9 a.m. slot since Matt Lauer resigned over sexual-misconduct allegations.
Kelly’s career at NBC has been checkered since she arrived there last year; her Sunday night NBC News show has gone to a “periodic” schedule after her controversial interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, with whom she posed for selfies.
Kelly has, however, won praise in some quarters for her coverage of sexual-misconduct allegations in recent months—she herself has alleged she was subject to unwanted advances from the late Roger Ailes at Fox News and formally complained to News Corp. about Bill O’Reilly’s behavior toward some women.