Downfall Continues: Celebrities Are Now Staying Away From “Megyn Kelly Today”, Layoffs Hit ABC as Rumors About Network’s Future Swirl
Megyn was/is the first casualty in the war against Trump. And they’ve been falling like dominoes ever since. Rosie. Kathy Griffin. CNN. The NFL. Hollywood.
Nobody loses better then the Left. Nobody.
Nine out of 10 times, they don’t even know they lost either.
In addition to widespread criticism and sluggish ratings, Megyn Kelly is facing another impending crisis. After three weeks on TV, celebrities aren’t rushing to sit down with her.
A number of publicists who spoke to Variety expressed discomfort with the idea of booking their clients in the third hour of “Today,” which has now been retitled “Megyn Kelly Today.” These publicists, however, said they are still eager to take their talent to other blocs of the morning show. “I’m not booking anyone on her show,” says a high-powered publicist, with a roster of big names, who asked for anonymity due to her overall relationship with “Today.” “I literally haven’t pitched anyone even from right out the gate. The buzz that is out there is so bad.”
Another well-known publicist, who represents one of the celebrities who has appeared on Kelly’s show, wasn’t pleased with the interview. “I won’t plan to have others go on,” the publicist said. “None specifically have been offered or asked to, but it’ll be my preference not to.”
Celebrities are a sweet spot for daytime TV. Katie Couric launched her talk show on ABC in 2012 with a gushy interview with Jessica Simpson, who revealed her post-baby body for the moms watching at home. Meredith Vieira landed Jennifer Lopez in 2014. And despite those big gets, viewers still didn’t tune in, which led both shows to being cancelled after two years.
“Ellen,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (which goes up directly against “Megyn Kelly”) and “The View” frequently lure star-studded guests. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who appear on the fourth hour of “Today,” have attracted the likes of Tyler Perry, Andrew Garfield, Brooke Shields, Judd Apatow and “Dear Evan Hansen” lead Ben Platt in recent months.
Over the summer, sources tell Variety that producers from Kelly’s show made a trip to Los Angeles to sell the big publicity firms on the new hour of “Today,” promising a lighter, more inspirational Kelly that viewers hadn’t seen before. However, according to an insider who attended one of the meetings, the team didn’t seem to have a clear direction of the show they were pitching. Kelly didn’t fit into a box like Ellen DeGeneres or Dr. Oz. And as a result, not too many celebrities jumped onboard.
Fast-forward to the first episode. Kelly surprised audiences when she debuted on Sept. 25, swearing off politics entirely. Instead, she sat down with the cast of NBC’s “Will & Grace.”
Megyn Kelly’s Disastrous First Week at NBC!
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. And after her first week at NBC, no one knows that better than Megyn Kelly.
The former Fox News commentator began her new job hosting Megyn Kelly Today, an hourlong segment within the larger Today Show morning program. But she got off to a very rocky start. Here’s what happened:
Layoffs Hit ABC as Rumors About Network’s Future Swirl
Disney/ABC TV has begun making long-feared layoffs as part of a broader restructuring of its broadcast business, with rumors swirling that bigger moves—including a possible sale of ABC—are coming.
Deadline first reported the staff reductions on Thursday, saying they could impact up to 200 employees across Disney and ABC properties. An ABC source with knowledge of the situation said that the cuts will hit upward of 40 of its employees on the East Coast and still more out west.
Multiple people at ABC told Splinter that there is a widespread belief at the network that the belt-tightening could be tied to a prospective sale by its corporate parent.
Disney’s broadcast division, which includes ABC and its local TV stations, is suffering from slumping ad rates and new competition from streaming services. The network’s top producer, Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder, decamped from ABC for Netflix in August.
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