Megyn Kelly and NBC: The cost of Trump Derangement Syndrome is huge

NBC executive Andrew Lack, reputedly the man who hired Megyn Kelly away from Fox News, has cost shareholders of NBC-Universal millions of dollars. The three-year contract paying her a reported $23 million a year is the least of the costs the network must absorb. Had Kelly brought-in the eyeballs of early morning viewers for the Today Show, where she landed after dismal ratings for her Sunday prime-time “news magazine” entry, the money could be considered a wise investment of corporate resources.

But it turns out that, according to this report in the UK Daily Mail, Kelly is driving away viewers from her morning gig. Her:

…program that averages 2.4 million viewers an episode, which is 18 percent below what the hour was pulling in last season according to data from Nielsen.

Things get worse when it comes to the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54, where the show is down 28 percent from last season.

That “key demo” is what advertisers seek, because brand preferences are not as firmly established as among older viewers, and this age cohort buys a lot of stuff, as they raise kids, buy houses and furnishings, and work hard to pay for all of what advertisers are selling.

And the damage extends to the program that follows:

Those numbers are now having a negative impact on the fourth hour of Today, which is also dropping in total viewers.

The hosts of last season’s pre-Kelly show, Al Roker and Tamron Hall, together reportedly were paid less than half of what Kelly is being paid.  Evidently, they were more congenial guests in viewers’ homes.  Ratings for daily morning television shows like Today are believed to be driven by viewers’ comfort with and attachment to the personalities of the hosts, who guide them through an overview of what’s happening in the world, along with fluff-like celebrity interviews, cooking, and quasi-stunt segments that revolve around the hosts being put in amusing or interesting situations and settings. The Q Score, which purports to measure the appeal of a celebrity or brand, and the comfort of consumers with it, is vital to success in building a weekday morning viewing habit.

Not only is Kelly less attractive to viewers, but she is apparently driving away the celebrities whose interviews can be touted as a means of drawing in more viewership:

…after her sit-down with Jane Fonda in the show's first week, which sources say resulted in publicists steering their A-list clients away from Kelly's program.  

Even a $10 million investment in a new studio for Kelly is failing to bring in the eyeballs.

Kelly’s troubles, her viewer-repellant, began when she took after then-candidate Donald Trump in a presidential debate, alienating her Fox News viewership, but sending her appeal to Trump-hating media executives through the roof. As she and her agents put her services up for bid, NBC took the bait, assuming that anti-Trump personality would appeal to TV audiences as much as it did to them and their friends in the media elites.

But it turns out that Trump hatred is not a currency that is valued as widely as the cloistered execs assumed. They are, in a word, deranged by their loathing for Trump, unable to see and think clearly when it comes to decision-making in an area they are supposed to be the masters of: crafting entertainment with broad appeal to a mass audience of young and middle-aged adults.

Blind hatred leads to awful decisions.

NBC executive Andrew Lack, reputedly the man who hired Megyn Kelly away from Fox News, has cost shareholders of NBC-Universal millions of dollars. The three-year contract paying her a reported $23 million a year is the least of the costs the network must absorb. Had Kelly brought-in the eyeballs of early morning viewers for the Today Show, where she landed after dismal ratings for her Sunday prime-time “news magazine” entry, the money could be considered a wise investment of corporate resources.

But it turns out that, according to this report in the UK Daily Mail, Kelly is driving away viewers from her morning gig. Her:

…program that averages 2.4 million viewers an episode, which is 18 percent below what the hour was pulling in last season according to data from Nielsen.

Things get worse when it comes to the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54, where the show is down 28 percent from last season.

That “key demo” is what advertisers seek, because brand preferences are not as firmly established as among older viewers, and this age cohort buys a lot of stuff, as they raise kids, buy houses and furnishings, and work hard to pay for all of what advertisers are selling.

And the damage extends to the program that follows:

Those numbers are now having a negative impact on the fourth hour of Today, which is also dropping in total viewers.

The hosts of last season’s pre-Kelly show, Al Roker and Tamron Hall, together reportedly were paid less than half of what Kelly is being paid.  Evidently, they were more congenial guests in viewers’ homes.  Ratings for daily morning television shows like Today are believed to be driven by viewers’ comfort with and attachment to the personalities of the hosts, who guide them through an overview of what’s happening in the world, along with fluff-like celebrity interviews, cooking, and quasi-stunt segments that revolve around the hosts being put in amusing or interesting situations and settings. The Q Score, which purports to measure the appeal of a celebrity or brand, and the comfort of consumers with it, is vital to success in building a weekday morning viewing habit.

Not only is Kelly less attractive to viewers, but she is apparently driving away the celebrities whose interviews can be touted as a means of drawing in more viewership:

…after her sit-down with Jane Fonda in the show's first week, which sources say resulted in publicists steering their A-list clients away from Kelly's program.  

Even a $10 million investment in a new studio for Kelly is failing to bring in the eyeballs.

Kelly’s troubles, her viewer-repellant, began when she took after then-candidate Donald Trump in a presidential debate, alienating her Fox News viewership, but sending her appeal to Trump-hating media executives through the roof. As she and her agents put her services up for bid, NBC took the bait, assuming that anti-Trump personality would appeal to TV audiences as much as it did to them and their friends in the media elites.

But it turns out that Trump hatred is not a currency that is valued as widely as the cloistered execs assumed. They are, in a word, deranged by their loathing for Trump, unable to see and think clearly when it comes to decision-making in an area they are supposed to be the masters of: crafting entertainment with broad appeal to a mass audience of young and middle-aged adults.

Blind hatred leads to awful decisions.