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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Megyn loses 26% of O'Reilly viewers

You mess with The Donald, you lose. Ask Spy magazine. Rosie O'Donnell. Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio. Megyn Kelly.

Megyn Kelly?

Surber, are you nuts?

She averaged 2.52 million viewers a night in the first three months of this year. She even bragged about it.

And of course, it is all true. I am nuts. She averaged 2.52 million viewers. And she bragged about it.

But our friend Math called again and he showed me this paragraph from the article:

The standouts for Fox News include Megyn Kelly’s 9 p.m. show, which averaged 2.52 million viewers, its most-watched quarter ever. Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” averaged 3.41 million viewers, its best since 2012. O’Reilly’s show remains the most-watched news program in cable.

In short, she averaged a net loss of 890,000 viewers a night as people switch from Bill O'Reilly to some other show when she comes on.

That is a dropoff of 26 percent.

That is worse than a year earlier, when she had a 20 percent dropoff.

From Biz Pac Review on April 1, 2015:
In fact, according to Nielsen numbers, the network occupied the top 14 cable news slots, led by the “The O’Reilly Factor” at 2.83 million viewers, “The Kelly File” at 2.24 million, “The Five” at 2.16 million, “Special Report with Bret Baier” at 2.07 million, and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren at 1.86 million.
Those numbers covered the first quarter of last year.

This year, the gap grew. So while she like every news show in cable received an election year bounce, hers was 12 percent and not the 20 percent bounce O'Reilly earned. He gained 580,000 viewers, she gained 280,000. That is less than half.

Like Sean Hannity before her, she is not holding O'Reilly's audience. Maybe picking a fight with Trump was a poor marketing decision.

UPDATE: April 5, 2016, Variety interview with Megyn Kelly:
Have you felt supported by Fox News?
KELLY: I have. Fox News has been in a tough position. They care about me and they are not afraid of a fight, but we’re in unchartered territory.
Have you had many conversations about this with your boss Roger Ailes?
KELLY: I’ve had many conversations with him about the situation. I think it’s been hard on him, too. I don’t think he’s enjoyed one piece of this. He can see what happens in my life when Trump starts off. He really wants him to stop, but on the other hand, he’s not going to run a news channel that doesn’t provide access to the Republican frontrunner for president.
Your contract is up after the election. Have you decided if you’re staying at Fox News?
KELLY: I haven’t.
You might not stay?
KELLY: Never say never. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve had a great 12 years here, and I really like working for Roger Ailes. I really like my show, and I love my team. But you know, there’s a lot of brain damage that comes from the job. There was probably less brain damage when I worked in the afternoon. I was less well known. I had far less conflict in my life. I also have three kids who are soon going to be school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. I come to work at 3:30. I like to see my children. Having said that, my boss has been good about working with me to make me happy–he knows I’m a hard worker. I’ve had few problems here where I couldn’t talk to him and say, “Can we work something out?,” and come away happy.
Maybe Roger Ailes wants better ratings. She has become a female Shep Smith.

But we shall see.


  1. Bill O'Reilly served his time in the trenches by reporting for years before he landed his own show. Megyn Kelly is a Johnny-come-lately media made star. While I don't agree with a lot of what Bill O'Reilly says, I would much rather waste an hour watching him than Megan Kelly. True talent (or years of experience and competency) will shine through every time. - Elric

  2. So Megyn Kelly gains 280,000 viewers over the course of the year and yet she "loses." ?? Must be Common Core math you got going there Surber.
    There are many factors why her numbers are not as strong as O'Reilly's numbers. Correct me if wrong, she is still #2 among cable network news shows. To suggest her "feud" with Trump -- which was rather amicable during the second presidential debate she moderated -- is sole reason why she can't hold O'Reilly's audience is a stretch at best; laughable at worse.
    If you want to pimp Trump in order to pimp your book, fine, but geez, at least come up with some more credible anecdotes.

    1. Typical Cruzzer. Can't even do math if it interferes with his Trump hate.

      Most news shows will gain viewers in this election year. O'Really gains about 600,000 new viewers, she only gains half that much. So, she's losing viewers that might otherwise have stayed.

      I know this kind of conceptual thinking is beyond the lemmings who blindly follow the One True Ted, but try to do the math.

    2. So, Kelly "gains" viewers, yet she is "losing" viewers. Talk about blindly following illogical reasoning.
      But if one were to follow the stretched "logic" that Kelly is "losing" viewers based on the fact that she is not retaining some of O'Reilly's viewers (even though her ratings are UP), what facts do you or Surber have that the slip in viewers from O'Reilly's show to Kelly's show is solely due to Donald Trump? Care to cite credible sources which have scientifically determined this?
      Surber - care to repost your quote that has disappeared from the top of your blog home page that says if science doesn't validate it, then it's all just theory. Sort of like those who believe they can build a wall to separate two countries and then make the other country pay for it. Had anyone with a D after their name ever suggested this, the Rs would combust on the spot.

    3. I have watched O'Reilly seemly forever, but, IMO, he has moved away from in depth news analysis to more entertainment oriented segments. Kelly I watch for her more in depth and hard questioning segments. When she goes into the "group therapy" political discussions with groups of citizens, I change channels. And everyone seems to do the left vs right talking point BS which I hate and usually turn off.
      The Trumpies may have hurt her ratings since, as I see on blog's comments, they take what Trump says as gospel; Googling is beyond their ability, it seems.
      The facts, just the facts, is what I want as Sgt Joe Friday might have said.

    4. This isn't hard to understand:

      1. All cable news shows are receiving election year bounces.

      2. Kelly is losing *more* audience *now* from the O'Reilly lead-in than she did a *year* ago, as a percentage of their respective audiences.
      2a. This is a *negative* trend, once the bounce is controlled for. This would be the science--not the theory, the science--that you purport to adore, and which Mr.Surber ably demonstrates in his post.

      3. Fox should be worried because once the election year bounce subsides, Kelly will have actually *lost* absolute audience over the 3-years in question. (Kelly should also be worried, because her next contract will be smaller and she may lose her time slot if the *negative trend* continues.)

      Finally, I hope to God you don't run a small business that is artificially buoyed by a temporary spike in purchase of your product that is unsustainable, while the trend line--even with that spike--is clearly moving in the wrong direction, because you would draw all the wrong conclusions from it.

      (You remind me of the (anti-science) guy saying European demographics are just fine because absolute pop is at its peak, even though it's a statistical illusion just before the boomers start dying off en masse.)

    5. You can Enron the numbers any way you like but the primary question remains: Please cite the credible sources which state the slight drop off rate from O'Reilly's show to Kelly's show is directly tied to Kelly's clash with Donald Trump?
      Kelly may not be retaining O'Reilly viewers to the same minimal percent as a year ago but that doesn't change the fact that her number are up. If my small biz sold 242 cars one year and then 284 cars during the same time period one year later (even though another small biz sold more cars than that), I'm still doing better.

    6. One half is slight?

      Only to a Cruzzer.

    7. Cruzzer still waiting for credible sources which say the perceived loss of viewership is due solely to Trump. Care to cite ed?

  3. What you might conclude from the numbers is that Megyn Kelly is not attracting loyal viewers of her own, that she is a woman who rides the coattails of the man whose show is broadcast in front of hers. In the end, it doesn't matter to me since I no longer watch any of the talking heads on TV. It's a "special day" when my TV set is on for more than 30 minutes after I've had my breakfast.

  4. Don, you're writing about the network that runs the Moron Five and thinks it's worthy of our viewership. Kelly and her Fivehead haircut are a distraction. Get back to working on your book, or we'll send you to bed with no supper.

  5. I think it is the new hair style. Not at all flattering IMHO. Too mannish and accentuates he high forehead.

  6. Kelly is pissed and you should not use your pulpit for personal retributions.