Megyn Kelly is not just dragging down the 9 a.m. hour of “Today,” her ratings are currently hurting co-workers Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb at 10 a.m.
Comparing Kelly’s first two weeks versus the “Today” show’s former 9 o’clock iteration over its final 10 episodes, “Megyn Kelly Today” has declined an average of 10 percent among adults 25-54, which is the key demographic for news programming.
When looking at the same two weeks from 2016, the falloff is worse: a 29 percent drop.
The following hour — Kathie Lee and Hoda’s — is down 18 percent year over year.
Of course, there’s a reason why viewership of news programming may be down from last fall given the lead-up to the presidential election.
And “Today” might also have benefited from the boost of the Summer 2016 Olympics, which snuffed out the torch’s flame on August 21.
Kelly also scored impressive ratings on Monday, when the former Fox News Channel anchor had a live interview with TV reporter Lauren Sivan about her allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
That particular outing averaged 927,000 demo viewers and 2.695 million overall audience members. Those are highs for the young series.
Although “Today” is an NBC News production and the 9-11 a.m. hours do discuss current events, some of the lighter fare clearly targets housewives and stay-home-moms, which are admittedly outdated terms for women 25-54.
As a matter of fact, Kelly’s key competition — the syndicated “Live With Kelly & Ryan” — measures itself solely by that yardstick.
What’s more alarming for NBC is that in her first two weeks Megyn Kelly continues to lose women in the all-important 25-54 age range as the show progresses.
Nielsen even breaks the ratings down in 15-increments, and here’s the viewership she lost, compared to the two-week period of “Today” before she started:
9 a.m.-9:15 a.m.: -5%
And the viewership decline has also impacted Kotb and Gifford, who have steadily lost viewers for the past two weeks, compared to the previous two weeks:
10 a.m.-10:15 a.m.: -12%
All that said, it’s still too soon to close the book on Kelly. New show launches and rebrands can take time, and casual fans may not even know where to find the “Kelly File” alum, something she surely learned on Sunday nights through the summer.
One thing is certain: NBC has a whole lot invested to make Kelly’s new show work.
The “Today” show did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story.