Variety’s Brian Steinberg lists some of the potential pitfalls facing NBC and its soon to be newest employee…
And yet, Kelly’s current halo does not necessarily mean she can also triumph over splintered broadcast-TV audiences and tired formats. Those are hurdles she and NBC will have to leap over in the months to come.
NBC said it intends to place Kelly in a new Monday-through-Friday daytime hour set to launch sometime over the coming year. To accomplish that feat, NBC would have to either take time from the four hours it already devotes to its “Today” morning franchise, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue; negotiate with affiliates for strong placement of a syndicated hour; or test something in the early evening, where it distributes “Access Hollywood.” Meanwhile, a Sunday newsmagazine would likely run for a limited cycle, as the network already devotes a good portion of its Sunday lineup to “Sunday Night Football,” one of TV’s most-watched programs.
But this is the biggest one in my opinion…
Launching a new, sustainable newsmagazine has also been tricky in recent years, as NBC learned when it debuted “Rock Center” with Brian Williams in 2011. That effort also lasted two seasons before being cancelled due to low ratings. NBC more recently tried “On Assignment,” an effort produced by its “Dateline” staff that relies more heavily on stories of adventure and innovation that on the murder tales viewers have come to expect from the parent show.
“In recent years”?!?
NBC has a long and distinguished history of failed attempts at news magazine shows. Even Dateline originally debuted in a vastly different form than it has today.
Left untouched in this article are two very interesting subjects…
1. Why was MSNBC conspicuously absent from any mention? I can think of two reasons and their initials are BW and RM. Say what you will about the decision but MSNBC has deliberately positioned the network as the home of Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow. Bringing in Megyn Kelly, even if she had the bandwidth to take on the assignment (something I seriously doubt given the daytime show), would totally upset that apple cart.
2. The pecking order on Nightly News – This is not an issue in the near to mid-term. Lester Holt isn’t going anywhere for at least five years provided ratings hold. But his successor is now going to be a little more of an open question than it was yesterday. The conventional wisdom was Savannah Guthrie would succeed Holt, provided NBC was comfortable with losing her on the from more financially lucrative Today Show in a post Matt Lauer era. But add in Kelly to the mix and the equation could potentially change…provided NBC’s gambit on Kelly pays off…and that is anything but guaranteed.
I always thought that of the three broadcast networks CBS was the best choice for Kelly, followed by NBC. ABC seems pretty set for the next decade and beyond with David Muir.