Likely due to a combination of her deep animosity toward candidate-turned-President Donald Trump and internal issues at the network, Megyn Kelly left Fox News Channel where she’d become famous and joined NBC’s daytime crew with her own program.
Kelly’s ratings at NBC weren’t great to start with and had steadily trended further downward since joining the broadcast network, but that trend may have run its course: Kelly’s ratings have finally begun to tick upward ever so slightly.
According to the New York Post‘s Page Six, executives and producers for Megyn Kelly Today are modestly celebrating the fact that Kelly’s program appears to have finally added viewers instead of losing them.
Historically low ratings
Kelly’s exit from Fox News in early 2017 and eventual transition to NBC had been greatly heralded as something of a media coup, as, at that time, Kelly was considered a top star at Fox, and was viewed as a valuable commodity for any other media outlet that could woo her away.
NBC paid Kelly big money to lure her to their network, but her short-lived prime-time weekend program never caught on, and her daytime program got off to a rocky start, drawing historically low ratings for its shifting time slots after launching in September 2017.
However, numbers from Nielsen appear to show that the downward slide has stopped — at least temporarily. Kelly’s program is up 1 percent over the same time last year, and up 5 percent since last week.
An unnamed inside source at NBC told Page Six that Kelly’s ratings have “been steadily climbing.”
The source admitted that the gains weren’t particularly significant, but when viewed against declining ratings across the board for other networks and programs, it was nevertheless a “positive sign” that was interpreted as proof the show is “gaining momentum.”
Part of Kelly’s problem is that she was known for engaging in tough interviews with hard-hitting questions, a style that works great for politically-oriented evening shows, but doesn’t translate particularly well to the more upbeat atmosphere of the morning show format.
It has likely been an uphill battle on the part of Kelly and her team to soften her image to better fit the daytime mold.
Kelly reportedly signed a three-year deal with NBC for $69 million, a pretty steep price for a show host with dismal ratings that has only seen marginal improvements to those ratings over the course of a year. Further decline could signal an early end to Kelly’s time at the network.
Of course, Kelly could eventually find her niche and figure out a way to truly flourish ratings-wise at NBC, making her high-dollar contract ultimately worthwhile — but that remains to be seen.