Megyn Kelly became a trending topic across social media on Friday morning when Page Six published a report claiming the soon-to-be NBC host wants to be the next Oprah Winfrey.
In fairness, what TV personality wouldn’t want to be the next Oprah? And Kelly has openly discussed her admiration for Winfrey in the past. The truth is, it would be a juicer story if Kelly didn’t want to fill Winfrey’s void.
The former Fox News Channel star who jumped to NBC when her contract expired has been tight lipped on the details of her upcoming NBC show, so the Post’s story does provide some key insight on her future plans.
Last month, TheWrap reported that NBC executives informed the “Today” staff that the 9 a.m. hour was being canceled to make room for a new program led by Kelly. Page Six, citing a source, reports that Kelly got worn out of the combative style of her Fox News show, feeling “she has more to offer.”
The report continues: “She wants to help people the way Oprah did, and do something more positive. She’ll be focusing on issues and bringing in real people as well as celebrities. Plus, she has a sense of humor and she wants to use that.”
If Page Six’s source is indeed accurate, then viewers should expect Kelly’s upcoming NBC gig to be more of a Oprah-style live audience talk show than a hard-news morning show. Remember, Kelly also has an upcoming Sunday night primetime gig on NBC that will presumably be focused on news.
The Page Six story also notes that NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is currently searching for an executive producer for Kelly’s upcoming show, but she wants an outsider as opposed to someone from the NBC family. It’s important to take into consideration, however, that the New York Post (the paper that houses Page Six) has attacked NBC News for years — reporting that Kelly doesn’t want her EP to be from NBC could be interpreted as a way to stir the pot.
It would make much more sense financially to use staff and infrastructure that is already in place for NBC’s “Today” show to help get Kelly’s show off the ground. Kelly is known to be close with “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer.
Kelly’s Fox News show was among the most-watched cable news programs for the past few years, so NBC executives no doubt hope her success can translate to daytime television. It’s safe to assume everyone involves hopes she is the next Oprah.
NBC declined comment.