The news Monday morning swept through the worlds of politics and cable news (often conflated) like a wildfire: Nurse Ratched, also known as Megyn Kelly, will be leaving Fox News Channel for NBC News. (The press release emphasized we are talking about the real over-the-air network, not the odious MSNBC.)
She reportedly spurned a $20 million-a-year offer from Fox. Speculation is she settled for what she is making now for leading the 9 p.m. cable ratings — in the neighborhood of $15 million per.
According to NBC, Ms. Kelly will host an hourlong Monday-through-Friday daytime program “that she will develop closely with NBC News colleagues.” In addition, she will anchor a new Sunday night magazine program and contribute to the network’s special event and political coverage, presumably with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.
Let’s dissect this, starting with the daytime show. When will it run? “Today” doesn’t end until 11. Respectable stations run news at noon. NBC’s only daytime offering at the moment is the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” which started in 1965 and is closing in on its 13,000th episode. It runs at 1 p.m. and is not likely to be moved. NBC affiliates use syndicated shows for the 2 and 3 p.m. hours.
The early evidence is that NBC may want to offer an alternative to the deranged ranting on ABC at 11 a.m. (a/k/a “The View”) and “The Price Is Right” on CBS. What kind of reception might Ms. Kelly’s show get? It’s hard to tell; for certain 30 Rock will ram it down the throats of stations it controls, but rank-and-file affiliates may balk.
As for the magazine program, NBC was specific about Sunday night, not mentioning the inconvenient fact it is committed to pro football in that time slot for about 40% of the every year through 2022. Perhaps the new show will start on another evening and migrate to Sundays when the NFL season concludes. Or move when the season starts. Or something.
The part of the press release about breaking news and politics at least makes sense.
On the Fox News Channel side, hardcore fans (and many on the staff) are cheering Ms. Kelly’s impending departure. They want a red meat liberal-basher at 9 p.m., not the woman who tried to take down Donald Trump and failed. Twitter is awash with “good riddance,” and star blogger Vox Day proclaimed: “After which the God-Emperor Ascendant sent her to NBC, shorn, dishonored, unwanted, and unloved.”
To which a commenter identifying himself as Mighty Lou replied in part: “She wanted to end him. She wanted to hang his balls on a wall in one of her giant homes like a trophy. Well she failed, and this is what ails her. She’s a man eater through and through, but Donald Trump will always be the one that got away. He was her white whale.”