NBC shelled out $17million to poach Megyn Kelly from Fox News, but with less than four weeks away from her morning show debut, it appears the network is fearful that they misspent their money.
The network is reportedly in a ‘total panic’ about how Kelly will be received on her new morning show, according to an NBC insider who spoke with the Daily Beast.
That source said that Megyn Kelly Today, which premieres September 25, is prompting ‘questions internally about who her audience is exactly’.
An NBC insider tell the Daily Beast that there is a sense of ‘total panic’ over the media scrutiny Megyn Kelly (pictured) will face as she transitions to morning TV next month
Kelly certainly is making a big jump. At Fox News, where she worked for 13 years, her audience was an older and mostly white audience.
By taking over the third hour of the Today show, she will have to appeal to a younger and more ethnically diverse viewership.
The third hour is currently anchored by Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer – two of whom are black – and the content of the show is mostly lighthearted, another change from Kelly’s previous focus on political reporting.
It may also be concerning that Kelly’s Sunday news magazine, which debuted back in June, garnered disappointing ratings in the four episodes it aired before being paused for football season and the Winter Olympics.
The network wouldn’t comment officially on the report, but an NBC insider told the Daily Mail: ‘ That is complete garbage and has zero truth to it. Everyone here is super excited about the show launch.’
A ‘veteran daytime impresario’ who spoke with the Daily Beast said Kelly’s transition to morning television may be difficult, but she has a lot of advantages within the ‘Today show cocoon’.
‘A lot of people were watching the magazine show to try to get a sense of her appeal to the daytime demographic and a sense of how she would be outside of the Fox environment,’ the source said. ‘Fox News skews very male… I always tend to think of her as more of a guy’s girl than a girl’s girl… It’s extremely challenging, and I’m not sure Megyn’s personality really connects with women.’
The source added: ‘She’s going to have to adapt to a live audience, she will have to be more entertaining, and that will be a learning curve for her. The ultimate question is whether she connects with women in daytime.’