The fact that Megyn Kelly’s new NBC show is having a tough time with the ratings is common knowledge at this point. She’s not able to get on top of the game. Her “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” found a home with NBC and the network believed that they had signed on a winning program, but the ratings have fallen far below their expectations. The show debuted on June 4, 2017 on a strong note. It didn’t hurt that it opened with an interview exclusive with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After this segment, the ratings took a dive. The viewership has dropped below that of CBS “60 Minutes” re-runs.
Here is what we believe the issues to be.
Post Putin, Megyn has experienced a drop in viewership. Her interview with radio host Alex Jones received a lot of hype, but it didn’t bring a good response. More viewers tuned in to watch Fox’s golf coverage and a “60 Minutes” re-run. the ratings company reported that the Jones episode pulled in 3.6 million viewers and was bested by an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” which was also a rerun. The following week, the numbers dropped to 3.4 million. The July 16 episode only drew 3.1 million and this is bad news for NBC. They are experiencing a massive decline with a program that was supposed in raise the ratings instead of lowering them. While the numbers may be good for a smaller network, they are tragic for NBC.
Reasons for the exodus
Kelly is a transplant from another network. This could be one of the major reasons why viewers do not care to catch her broadcast. They simply do not have the loyalty that they would if she had been a part of the NBC family for years. Her years at Fox made her popular with that segment of the population and some viewers refuse to cross the lines. Consumer loyalty is a big thing when it comes to news broadcasting.
Another possible issue could be that she participated in very public spats with the campaigning hopeful presidential candidate Donald Trump. Some viewers turned against her because of it, particularly Trump supporters. They are less likely to want to hear anything that she has to say now. Social media is abuzz with conservatives who are vocal about their dislike for her style. This is a huge audience that she is not likely to sway in her direction. She lost the trust of many of her Fox viewers during the incident and many of them perceive her as a turncoat.
Her allegations of sexual abuse from Bill O’ Reilly is another issue that may have affected her popularity. O’Reilly had quite a following and those viewers who felt a loyalty to him may have taken exception. This is not to say that Megyn did anything wrong. No woman should put up with this kind of harassment ever, but not all fans were in her corner over the incident. It could be a contributing factor to her appeal to viewers.
Some viewers may remember some of her poorly delivered statements when referencing people of color. It was a big deal for a while but people seemed to forgive her and move on. There are many different groups out there and it is impossible to please them all. Much of the ratings game has to do with attracting specific demographics. Anyone in the business will tell you that you set your sights on target groups and give them what they’re interested in, and deliver it well. Is the problem with Megyn’s style, personality or ability to deliver the news? We know that she’s a pro and she has a firm grasp on how to make her shows interesting, informative and entertaining, but once certain groups are lost, it may be impossible to gain their loyalty, trust and attention.
A lot can change in a year
Kelly was once on top as the former anchor of Fox News. Her new NBC show has only been around for a few weeks and it’s already looking like a disaster. She is set to premiere her new daytime show on NBC, but people are wondering if it is going to meet with the same fate that she’s experiencing now with the Sunday night offering. The bigger question is how will NBC handle the obvious lack of viewer interest in the show? Since ratings are key in keeping a show on the air, we’re wondering how long they’ll allow it to continue before issuing a cancellation notice. Megyn’s popularity has taken a dive in the last year and we’re not certain whether the trend will continue. Perhaps the NBC execs are taking a wait and see attitude as well. They took a risk and made the investment but not all gambles pay off. She’s gone from the top of the news anchor food chain in 2016 to someone that the masses seem to be avoiding.
Loss of appeal
It has become obvious that Megyn is not as popular as she once was. She was once a bright and shining star and the past year has diminished her light in the minds of viewers. She’s going to get another chance to deliver a superb performance with hard hitting news coverage this fall. She is scheduled to occupy the 9 am time slot for NBC. If the press takes it a little easier on her, she may have a chance. If not, the jokes and humor may lead even more viewers away.