A Lot of Money for Not a Lot of Viewers
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NBC News chairman Andy Lack has for several years desperately been trying to turn MSNBC and NBC News into Fox News, by inviting a lot more Republican pundits and politicians on to MSNBC's daytime shows, and by spending big bucks to hire Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly, albeit after both left Fox News.
But Kelly's new show, which launched three weeks ago, has been an abject failure, on many fronts.
Kelly's show, "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly," airs at 7 PM EDT. Her first episode was an inane interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin. His PR team must have loved it – it was far from hard-hitting. Despite a decent attempt to promote the show, it bombed, losing in the ratings to a rerun of CBS News' "60 Minutes."
Kelly's show Sunday night featured a highly controversial interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has said the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 first-grade students were gunned down by a madman was faked, using actors.
It, too, bombed.
CNN reports Kelly's show garnered just 3.5 million viewers, its lowest yet.
That's after the Sandy Hook families threatened to sue NBC, after lots of media coverage about the show, after Jones released secretly recorded audio of his negotiations with Kelly, where she effectively suggests she wanted to normalize him in the eyes of Americans.
Often, this much controversy would help.
"The show also trailed a re-run episode of CBS' '60 Minutes,' which brought in 5.3 million viewers. Among 18-49-year-olds, the demographic most prized by advertisers, a repeat of 'America's Funniest Home Videos' beat both Kelly and '60 Minutes' by about 40%," CNN reports.
"Sunday Night" has seen a steady decline in its viewership since Kelly's debut episode, which was set around an exclusive interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That episode drew an average of 6.2 million viewers.
NBC News reportedly is paying Megyn Kelly "between $15 million and $20 million" a year.
Before Bill O'Reilly's "exit" from Fox News, Kelly's salary at NBC made her the 6th highest paid TV host in the nation. That's a lot of money for not a lot of viewers.
As far as next week goes, Kelly is interviewing yet another conservative "icon," J.D. Vance. Apparently, on "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly," progressives are persona non-grata.
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