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

Variety - - Top Billing - Story by BRIAN STEIN­BERG

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.