Megyn Kelly: NBC’s $17.5 Million Mistake

MEGYN KELLY. THE HAIRSTYLE ISN’T FLATTERING.

The largest single group watching daytime TV is black women. That’s no surprise, since a lot of black women are sitting at home on their asses collecting benefits.

According to this report, blacks view Megyn as racist. I guess that’s because a couple of years ago she correctly informed blacks who were demanding black Santa Clauses that Santa is white.

LOL.

Megyn had that one right, but blacks appear to be holding a grudge against her, which is going to cost her viewer eyeballs when she starts her gig on morning TV in the fall.

Excerpt from Variety

It’s still months before Megyn Kelly’s new NBC daytime show is set to premiere, but it already feels like the former Fox News anchor has overstayed her welcome. Only three weeks into her Sunday-night newsmagazine show — a “Dateline” style piece, structured around her interviews with high-profile “gets” — Kelly’s star is dimmer than ever. It’s a far cry from where she was just a year ago.

2016 was a banner year for Kelly: After a wave of flattering media coverage positioned her as one of the few remaining sensible voices within the Republican party, she led round-the-clock election coverage for Fox News — anchoring one of its highest-rated programs, “The Kelly File,” and shoring up the network’s credibility on women’s issues as it reported on, and sometimes sparred with, then-candidate Donald Trump. If Bill O’Reilly was the face of the network, Kelly — a photogenic former lawyer — was the face of the future. It was Kelly’s complaints that finally ended Roger Ailes’ reign of sexual harassment at the network; an indication of changing times, a changing company, and Kelly’s worth to the network.

Then in January, Kelly left Fox News, and since then whatever high-wattage star power she had has waned considerably. This month she’s been hosting “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” an opportunity for theoretically harder-hitting coverage than what she’ll do in the fall when she takes over the network’s 9 a.m. timeslot.

By all measures, her “Sunday Night” effort been a disaster: Her interviews have been either ridiculed or loathed by the rest of the press, and the ratings reflect a distinct lack of interest. To be sure, newsmagazines around one anchor have a high failure rate, even for respected names like Bryant Gumbel, Connie Chung, and Jane Pauley. But Kelly’s problems go beyond ratings. Her June 18 episode, an interview with InfoWars’ Alex Jones, began as a problematic decision and snowballed into a PR nightmare. Kelly couldn’t handle either the interview or its fallout.

Even before all of this, there were plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Kelly’s upcoming foray in the 9 a.m. timeslot. Daytime television is a notoriously difficult nut to crack — dozens of shows, built around former news anchors and other personalities, have failed to succeed, even when they are helmed by otherwise well-liked personalities. Kelly has never emphasized intimacy or likability in her on-camera persona. Her style is legalistic and cool, with a brass-tacks elegance that can, at best, appear regal.

Compare this to Kelly’s fiercest competitor in the 9 a.m. timeslot: Kelly Ripa, a brash, bubbly personality who manages to be both inclusive and distinctive at the same time. Daytime TV is such an intimate and alchemical landscape that audiences’ most beloved anchors take on a kind of mythical quality — Oprah, Ellen, Katie — who are gossiped about and scrutinized as if they were members of a far-flung family. Ripa, a master of the form, was already, in all likelihood, going to eat Kelly for lunch (or is it breakfast?). Now that Kelly’s reputation on the rocks — and that Ripa has a new telegenic cohost in Ryan Seacrest — it’s hard to imagine Kelly making a dent in Ripa’s audience.

On top of all of this there’s the fact that Kelly has a history of cringeworthy statements about black people — and is about to debut in a timeslot that happens to draw a large African-American female audience. According to Nielsen data for the 2015-16 season, African-American women comprised 23.1% of the total TV audience in the (nearly synchronous) 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. time frame, making them the largest component of the daytime viewership base, ahead of white (16.3%), Hispanic (12.6%) and Asian (7.6%) women.

Given all of this, NBC’s logic in hiring Kelly — for an annual salary, according to industry sources, of $17.5 million — was already murky. Now, “Sunday Night” has called into question Kelly’s capacity to do her job appropriately. The entire rigmarole with Alex Jones was a series of unforced errors: Amateur decision-making, lightweight investigation, and vaguely defined motives. She has floundered in interviews on-camera and made to look either dishonest or unprofessional off-camera. And her essential sense of newsworthiness is oddly awry; after all of the hullabaloo defending her interview of Jones, she couldn’t manage to get the segment to coalesce around a news peg. So what is Megyn Kelly good at?

To answer the question, she is good at being obnoxious and aggressive. She’s probably trying too hard to be like Bill O’Reilly.

Americans love to see overly self-confident blowhards fail. If things work out, Kelly is going to come in for a lot of criticism.

But remember this. It’s all theater, designed to distract us from what’s really important. So, have a little fun with Kelly’s fall, but stay fixed on immigration, race, and the economy.

One thought on “Megyn Kelly: NBC’s $17.5 Million Mistake

  1. I can picture those fat-assed negresses shakin’ their nappy haids (doing the turkey neck thing) and saying, “Oh no, you din’t”. Too funny.

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