Internet | September 18, 2017 10:34 am

Will Megyn Kelly Hurt NBC’s ‘Today’ Show?

She will begin her turn at the 9 a.m. hour of 'Today' later this month.

Megyn Kelly Today will debut on Sept. 25 and will take over the third hour of the Today show at 9 a.m. She promises to “inspire and empower” people with an “energetic” show that will connect people in a disconnected world.

But Vanity Fair writes that many are skeptical of Kelly, who left Fox News for NBC. Her newsmagazine show Sunday Night, did not do as well as hoped. It was supposed to run for 10 episodes but ended after only eight episodes over nine weeks, with only 35 million viewers. She interviewed controversial subjects like Vladimir Putin and Alex Jones. The interview with Jones especially raised criticism, with one TV executive telling Vanity Fair by putting her across from Jones, “now you’ve given them a reason to not like her.”

Vanity Fair writes that NBC is hoping to transfer some of the negative attention Kelly gets into positive ratings. She makes a reported $17 million-plus salary, and there is a lot of media blitz surrounding her arrival, making the stakes high.

One news-industry veteran told Vanity Fair, “If she doesn’t [succeed], it’ll be a disaster for NBC.”

Kelly, who was once a “right-wing cable news provocateur,” has been on a mission to change her image into someone who has more dimension that what she showed on Fox News. Vanity Fair reports that she spent the summer preparing for her job at Today, visiting affiliate cites and throwing out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Kelly does have a lot of resources at her disposal, which bothers some NBC colleagues, writes Vanity Fair. There is a lingering question about whether the resources will actually provide an outcome. But an NBC insider told Vanity Fair that the measure of Kelly’s new show’s success will not be based on viewers, but inside, on “the journalism it produces.”

Today has only recently regained top billing over Good Morning America in the most coveted demographic — moms and minority women. There is a concern, Vanity Fair writes, that Kelly is not “made for the morning.” One staffer told Vanity Fair that they are just bracing themselves, “hoping it is less bad than the reception of the Sunday show.”