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martes, 16 de enero de 2018

Embarrassment for Megyn Kelly: she’s not going to Olympics with NBC team

When NBC travels to Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics, the newest addition to the Today show lineup will be forced to sit this one out.

Network executives appear unwilling to place their bets on former Fox News host Megyn Kelly during their highly rated Olympics programming, which costs NBC $1 billion to host and appeals to a massive international audience.


The cold-shouldered snub represents a blow to Kelly’s faltering career as the entertainer-anchor’s one-hour Today show slot suffers from historically abysmal ratings. Kelly commands an estimated $23 million annual salary with NBC, which is beginning to look increasingly difficult to justify with her lackluster performance.

Kelly could have used the opportunity to be featured on an international stage. With its broad demographic appeal, the Olympics represents a galvanizing opportunity for light-hearted and bantering news anchors like Kelly who can also transition to hard-nosed foreign policy reporting to cover escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking with Fox News, The Hill media columnist Joe Concha elaborated on the network’s rebuff:

It is odd that NBC News would leave its highest-paid host at home. Megyn’s ratings are improving a bit as the show has focused on the sexual harassment issue, but she could still use the kind of exposure and interviews you only get when physically at the Olympics.

In Kelly’s absence, NBC is deploying a morning show dream team that will include Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Craig Melvin, Lester Holt and Dylan Dreyer. “Anybody who’s anybody at NBC goes to the Olympics,” a NBC News insider told Fox News, in an obvious slight to Kelly.

“This is incredibly embarrassing for Megyn,” the network informant observed.

Silver lining

However, there is still hope for Kelly, whose domestic grounding may be explained by the contentious political atmosphere presently pervading Capitol Hill. NBC has already reduced their customary three weeks of Olympic coverage to 14 days, and as a looming government shutdown approaches over legislative action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act, Kelly could be the star of NBC’s morning news coverage during a crucial period of political instability.

Although Megyn Kelly Today continues to struggle with a modest viewership, the iconic journalist who came to fame after feuding with then-presidential nominee Donald Trump is coming off of her most-watched week at NBC. With Trump’s upcoming State of the Union address later this month, Kelly may be able to capitalize on her revitalized success.

Foot-in-mouth disease

That is — if she can find a solution to her persistent foot-in-mouth malady, verbal miscues, lack of tact and pervasive tone-deafness which has been captured with unacceptable regularity on her morning broadcast. Network executives could only shake their heads in dismay when Kelly asked a homosexual super fan of a rebooted “Will and Grace” sitcom attending her show if “it was true you became a lawyer and you became gay because of Will.”

Kelly received a bone-chilling stare from actress and communist sympathizer Jane Fonda when she cluelessly asked about the star’s history under the surgeon’s scalpel and later seemed blind to her guest’s attempts to change the subject. 

NBC cannot afford a tongue-biting retraction from Kelly — not on a world stage. Born for political news coverage and with a penchant for reporting on high-profile scandals, the veteran anchor will be far more useful covering White House developments from a New York studio than detailing diminished transnational tensions from a Pyeongchang ski lift.