In the End, Megyn Kelly and NBC Were a Bad Fit
The former Fox News star never found the right footing — or her voice — at her new network
MEGYN KELLY ARRIVED at NBC News with a vow to shed the hard-news focus and political coverage that had defined her success at Fox News.
“I’m kind of done with politics for now,” Kelly told the audience for her 9 a.m. talk show, “Megyn Kelly Today,” during her first broadcast in September 2017. Instead, she urged viewers to use her show to “get yourself through the day, to have a laugh with us, a smile, sometimes a tear — and maybe a little hope to start your day. Some fun! That’s what we want to be doing.”
In the end, her tenure at NBC News was extremely political — and anything but fun.
Nbcuniversal canceled Kelly’s talk show Oct. 26, and she is likely headed toward a split with NBC less than two years after she was recruited from Fox News with a rich $17 million-a-year contract. Her downfall was hastened by surprising on-air remarks in which she defended the use of blackface for Halloween costumes. The incident was the last straw for NBC News colleagues. Now, the messy exit is another blemish for NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, who has faced a string of controversies since he took the top job at the news network in 2015. Lack led the charge to bring Kelly on board, but by several accounts the relationship between the two has soured.
As such, NBC News’ Megyn Kelly experiment offers a lesson for TV executives: It’s not enough to have a Big Anchor or a Big Personality. You also need to have a Big Idea that suits them.
“This is just the latest example of television executives betting millions that a star