Megyn Kelly trying to change image and go Oprah?
Megyn Kelly has discovered that life after Fox News is no bowl of cherries. I suppose it seemed like a good idea at the time: letting the other nets know that Megyn was open to bids from Fox News rivals, and also letting it be known in her new book that she, too, was a victim of sexual harassment from Roger Ailes.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) November 15, 2016
A new broadcast home seemed natural, considering her rocky on-air relationship with Donald Trump, the next president, whose mockery of her seemed to keep her off balance. With Megyn as a symbol of Trump resentment, a home at NBC, which eventually signed her for north of ten million dollars a year, seemed a natural fit.
But now that NBC has signed her to contract, the next act is proving a bit problematic. For one thing, the existing on-air talent at NBC was not thrilled to have a high-priced rival come in and potentially bigfoot them out of their jobs, especially in the lucrative morning Today Show hours.
So what's a career girl to do?
According to Carlos Greer and Emily Smith of Page Six:
Megyn Kelly grew tired of combative hard news reporting and now wants "to help people the way Oprah did" on her new NBC show, sources tell Page Six.
After signing a deal with NBC worth between $12 million and $15 million, Kelly's plans for her new show have been shrouded in secrecy.
NBC brass are interviewing executive producers in the hopes that Kelly will debut in September at either 9 or 10 a.m. in front of a live studio audience.
A source told us, "There was a lot of tough news to report on her show at Fox News. A lot of combative interviewing, going after people. Doing that every night was difficult. Megyn feels she has more to offer. She wants to help people the way Oprah did, and do something more positive. She'll be focusing on issues and bringing in real people as well as celebrities. Plus, she has a sense of humor and she wants to use that."
I can understand why Kelly wants to change her image. She has done a great job of perfecting the hard-edged, slender, cool blonde, whose sharp questions trap her interview subjects. But do the lefties and squishes who watch NBC want her to use those talents? Getting interviews with Trump administration figures may prove difficult. Heaven forbid she exercises her talents on the likes of Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi! The NBC brass and their bosses at Comcast wouldn't like that at all.
And then (forgive me!) there is the age factor. None of us gets younger as he works, and Ms. Kelly's tight leather skirts and décolletage have cast her image in a sex kitten mode that simply can't last forever.
Oprah has not only made a big fortune, but found a career niche that will last as long as she wants it to: kindly savior of the distressed, comforter of emotional stress, and occasional granter of boons to her studio audience – up to and including a new car.
But do the mostly female daytime TV watchers (i.e., not career women, but rather those who have time to stay at home and park their fannies in front of the tube) have a strong desire to watch a thin, blonde, somewhat angry white woman who is really rich and married to a studly novelist? I am no expert in the stay-at-home-and watch-daytime-TV demographic, but I can read:
If, by and large, daytime audiences are getting older, there is also some evidence to suggest that they are becoming more downwardly mobile as well. As far back as 2001, research firm Frank N. Magid Associates reported that 40% of the daytime viewers make less than $20,000 a year, and 85% don't have a college degree. In September of last year, Pew Research published the following findings: "Regular viewers of daytime talk shows are less educated than the public as a whole. Among this group, just 19% have four year degrees, 26% have attended some college and 54% have a high school diploma or less education." That same survey also reported: "Daytime talk show watchers stand out as the least well off regular audience. About half (51%) have family incomes of less than $30,000, while three-in-ten have $30,000-$74,999 incomes. Just 12% have incomes of $75,000 or more."
A little voice in my head tells me Megyn is not exactly the kind of imaginary TV friend they want to spend a lot of time with. Oprah may be richer, but she has struggled with her weight, acknowledges a tough childhood that featured abuse, and has a much friendlier disposition. And she has never cross-examined a hostile witness.