Its coverage of Megyn Kelly.
She markets herself as a glam feminist inquisitor -- the dominatrix of journalism -- who crushes conservative men. Her debate question of Donald Trump in August 2015 is legendary.
He schlonged her.
Roll the tape, as they say on TV.
KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind, and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.
TRUMP: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
(LAUGHTER)He turned Kelly's question around in three words: Only Rosie O’Donnell.
Kelly had beclowned herself. In doing so, she got into a feud with Donald Trump. Only one person walks away unharmed from such a feud: Donald Trump.
Their kiss-and-make-up interview months later was a ratings bomb. None of her supporters like her, and his detractors did not care.
But GQ and the rest of the media love her. Just like they love Anderson Cooper. To read the press gush over him, you would think he tops the ratings.
No, Bill O'Reilly does. Cooper finishes third in his time slot -- among the three cable news outlets.
But what are facts when it comes to the media covering the media?
In January, NBC announced it had lured Kelly away.
I wrote on January 5: "The biggest media mistake of the year so far (which already is one/seventy-third gone) is NBC hiring Megyn Kelly from Fox News. Replacing her with Tucker Carlson is brilliant."
(The headline had a pretty good pun in it.)
But the media praised the move.
“It’s a loss for Fox,” said Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture, who called Kelly a “bona fide news celebrity.” He added that “There has been a lot of animosity between Megyn Kelly and Fox, and I have a feeling that they aren’t terribly surprised” by her decision.
Moving to NBC News will greatly increase the size of Kelly’s audience. Fox News averaged 2.4 million viewers in prime time, the most of any cable network in 2016. However, “NBC Nightly News” attracted more than 9 million viewers during the week of Dec. 19, topping rivals ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney (DIS) and CBS (CBS), the parent company of CBSNews.comThat was a weird comparison since she will not anchor NBC's nightly news. The more likely comparison is the "Today" show, which averages 4.4 million viewers.
The New York Times also praised the move:
For Megyn Kelly, the shift from Fox News to NBC — where she will host a daily daytime show and a Sunday newsmagazine program — will be a test of whether she can connect with a broader audience in a different format and reach another level of television stardom.
But her move, announced Tuesday, has broader implications for the television news industry, raising new questions about the future of Fox News, where she was a countervailing presence in an opinion lineup heavy with right-leaning ideology, and of NBC News, which has been a longtime bête noire for conservative press critics. And it comes as all news organizations gird for a new era of media coverage that arrives Jan. 20 with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump.I love that, "raising new questions about the future of Fox News."
It has one. Recent layoffs and the shift of staff to rent eight more floors of the NYT building raises questions about the future of the newspaper.
So how did all this work out for Fox News?
Two weeks after Tucker replaced Megyn, some results are in.
From the Washington Examiner:
In losing Megyn Kelly, Fox News appears to have fallen upward to higher ratings at a lower price.
"Fox News's Tucker Carlson is nearly doubling the ratings of his predecessor, Megyn Kelly, when compared to the same time period last year, according to Nielsen Media Research," reports The Hill. "'Tucker Carlson Tonight' is up 95 percent in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most compared with the same period in 2016, when 'The Kelly File' occupied the 9 p.m. ET time slot. Carlson has averaged 775,000 viewers per night in the category, while Kelly averaged 398,000 during the same time period, Jan. 11–22."
That Kelly can be so easily eclipsed is a bad omen for NBC. It is a testimony to the effectiveness of Carlson, but it also hints at the hollowness of the buzz around her. Much of that buzz derived from her status as a subversive at a conservative-leaning network, talk that will dissipate once she's at NBC. Plus, Fox News viewers don't appear to miss her too terribly, and there is little reason to believe they'll follow her to NBC.It is too early to tell if I am right.
But I am.
Please read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.
It covers the nomination process only. The general election will be covered in a sequel, "Trump the Establishment."
For an autographed copy, email me at DonSurber@GMail.com
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