Yes, Megyn Kelly is out. Her contract with Fox News was up for renegotiation. According to the spirited commentary from the hushed voices in the hallways, Ms. Kelly had gotten a little too big for her britches. Her demands were excessive and not in keeping with her perceived value. Additionally, her tell all reflections in her overly hyped tome didn’t endear her to anyone other than Dr. Phil.
Poor Megyn has been hocking her goods to every news station in town but until now, no one was buying.
It may have been a mistake to have told people that she would be the next Barbara Walters. Perhaps some folks were put off by her immodesty. A woman who flashes her pearly whites after looking directly into the camera and asking the guy interviewing her, (Charlie Rose), “How about if we merge a little Charlie Rose, a little Oprah and a little me all together… and we serve that up as an hour?” might be someone who could be tough to work with.
In a rather subdued press statement on Tuesday, NBC announced that Ms. Kelly has been hired to host both a mid-day program throughout the week, time to be determined, and a Sunday evening ” news show”.
The mid-day show is part of NBC’s cosmetic surgery program. The company has been trying to expand its daytime viewership for years. Kathy Lee and Hoda couldn’t compete with Live on ABC and The View, also ABC, is a ratings magnet. NBC is hoping that Kelly can broaden their appeal. The show will not be a hard hitting news program. Instead, it will present Kelly as an inviting hostess, who gets cozy with her guests, presumably to dupe them into dropping their guard for long enough to allow her to extract some juicy secrets. (aka, Welcome to My Lair)
The weekend evening show will be NBC’s answer to 60 minutes on CBS. Naturally, this won’t be the network’s first attempt to compete with the Sunday night institution.
60 minutes has been running for years and enjoys a level of popularity that will be hard to recreate. Much of its continued success is rooted in traditional family routine.
On Sunday nights, families throughout the nation have established a pattern of gathering around the TV after dinner as a way of bonding and relaxing before the work week starts anew. 60 minutes has been a part of that weekly routine for many families since 1968. A third generation of parents is now snuggling with their kids on the living room couch to watch the Sunday night hour that fosters intellectual stimulation.
The show has inarguably suffered a massive decline in journalistic standards in recent years, but tradition is tradition and it’s a powerful force.
Worthy of note, is the fact that NBC and Fox have a long standing and somewhat bitter rivalry. Kelly’s hire was, in no small part, designed to tweak Fox News. Amusing, but likely nothing more than an expensive indulgence, doomed to fail.
Megyn Kelly struggles with cutesy. She tries often enough but she can’t quite pull it off. She’s bright and acerbic. As much as we’ve enjoyed her sharp tongued stylings, daytime audiences tend to refer to that kind of snark as being bitchy.
Oh well. So long, she’s gone. We’ll miss Greta more.
The good news is that we are about to be awash in great new winter shows! Hooray!
More on that later this week.