Whenever NBC executives look at Megyn Kelly, they see dollar signs. Unfortunately, they see those signs flying out the window. She has only done three shows and each one has been worse than the one before. Kelly is their highest priced host at $20 million a year for an undetermined number of years and if NBC wants to buy out her contract, it will cost them a huge fortune.
But she is bleeding deep pocketed advertisers and will likely lose many more because of her poor ratings. There was even a rumor going around that NBC might transfer her contract back to Fox at a discount but Fox News made it clear they don’t want her.
The Boston Globe’s television critic Matthew Gilbert ripped Kelly for lacking both the charisma and acumen to be successful at NBC News.
After watching the first three poorly-rated episodes of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, he notes that charisma is a “relatively hard quality to define” and points out that “Merriam-Webster actually resorts to the supernatural in its first definition of the word: ‘A personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure.’”
“All I know is that I don’t find Megyn Kelly charismatic. She has no ‘personal magic,’” Gilbert writes, adding that Kelly “is lacking in that mysterious quality that engenders curiosity, excitement, and trust in a TV viewer.”
According to Gilbert, “there’s something stubbornly shallow about her presence, so that when she sits down with an international dodge artist like Vladimir Putin, she seems way out of her league.”
Kelly, according to Gilbert, “came off like a poseur” in her widely-criticized interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin by just “going through the motions of seriousness” and wound up looking “two-faced” after her disastrous interview with Alex Jones aired. After HuffPost obtained unedited footage of Kelly’s interview with Putin in which a “nervous” Kelly lobbed him “softballs,” Kelly was resoundingly mocked. And Gilbert notes that Putin “brushed her and her questions off like they were so much dandruff.”
Gilbert also says viewers can “feel the strain” as Kelly desperately tries to position herself as a serious investigative reporter.
Even before Kelly’s interview with Jones, NBC executives were reportedly already “freaking out” over the “ratings disaster” that has been Kelly. And after Kelly’s controversial interview with Jones again failed to beat reruns of 60 Minutes and America’s Funniest Home Videos and became Kelly’s lowest-rated program to date despite being the most hyped, a New York radio host said his sources at NBC News revealed that the network was looking to unload Kelly’s contract and may even ask Fox News to consider taking Kelly back.
Fox News must feel like they dodged the bullet when they were unable to sign Kelly.