In her first month as a morning show host, Megyn Kelly has experienced visible growing pains, after matriculating from a toxic conservative media outlet into millions of liberal American households.
When NBC announced the decision to give Kelly her own morning slot—despite poor ratings for her initial Sunday night series—a swath of viewers and fellow media members disapproved, especially since it meant she’d be replacing fan favorites Tamron Hall and Al Roker. In her first week on air, Kelly managed to make headlines at least, leaving Jane Fonda dumbfounded by a plastic surgery question. In the second week, days after the deadliest mass shooting in the US., Kelly was criticized for appearing to cut off Tom Brokaw as he was critiquing the NRA.
Behind the scenes, the show’s producers seem to be struggling to figure out what a Megyn Kelly show should look like. While NBC remains patient by necessity, and as Kelly grows more comfortable in the role, ratings have reportedly been soft and slipping since the first week, hitting a “possible all-time low” for the Today Show brand, according to Page Six sources. Adjacently, publicists appear to be reluctant to feature their clients on the show—“I literally haven’t pitched anyone even from right out the gate. The buzz that is out there is so bad,” one publicist told Variety.
Many of the TV anchors and personalities I spoke to—who work for local stations or major network affiliates—agree that there’s a problem, much of which has to do with Kelly’s attempt to outrun her past life. Here’s what peers had to say about the Megyn Kelly Today format, its execution, pros, cons, and whether Megyn Kelly can survive in the morning.