USA TODAY US Edition
Megyn Kelly’s ratings on the rise
Audience grows as focus shifts to harassment.
Megyn Kelly may be finding her voice — and more viewers — by tackling the issue of sexual harassment on her NBC morning show.
The former Fox News anchor got off to a rough start with Megyn Kelly Today, but her 9 a.m. ET/PT hour of NBC’s Today show has begun to see some ratings success as she has regularly devotes time to the issue. And her show Monday likely captured plenty of eyeballs, being that her guests were three women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct.
By mid-October and into November, Kelly’s audience began growing, including among the important core group of those aged 25 to 54, according to Nielsen. Viewership has increased monthly, and the show is currently averaging 2.7 million viewers in December, Nielsen says. Today still trails ABC’s Good Morning America in total viewers.
In September, during the first full week for Megyn Kelly Today, the show drew an average of 2.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, which was down
12% from that same hour a year before when Today’s Take co-hosted by Al Roker along with others including Tamron Hall aired in the timeslot. Since its Sept.
25 launch through Dec. 3, Megyn Kelly Today viewership is down 20% compared with the same hour last year, averaging 2.4 million viewers, Nielsen says.
Kelly had hoped to steer clear of politics on Today. Instead, she said at the time, the show was meant to provide “maybe a little hope to start your day.”
However, as a growing list of men were publicly accused of sexual misconduct, Kelly began addressing the issue. In October, she did interviews with accusers of her former Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and NBC political analyst Mark Halperin.
On her Oct. 23 program, Kelly made public an email she sent last year to top Fox News executives complaining about O’Reilly, who had said there had been no complaints about him at the network. She called that false “because I complained,” she said. O’Reilly was fired in April after an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations by several women.
Then on Monday, three women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct — Rachel Cooks, Samantha Holvey and Jessica Leeds — appeared together on Megyn Kelly Today before a news conference where the women requested a Congressional investigation into their claims against the president.
“America, as you know by this point, is having it’s own ‘Me Too’ moment, as men from the very public worlds of journalism, entertainment and now government are being outed and often punished for sometimes decades of sexual misconduct,” Kelly said on air Monday before introducing her guests. “But does that accountability extend to the Oval Office?”