Megyn Kelly, the new host of the 9 a.m. hour of NBC’s “Today” show, is off to a soft start in the ratings.
In her first week as a cheerful morning personality, Ms. Kelly, a former Fox News anchor, drew an average of 2.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, with 765,000 of them in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic prized by advertisers and network executives.
The total audience for “Megyn Kelly Today,” Ms. Kelly’s portion of the show, was roughly in line with what “Today” was reaching in the same hour before making the change, when it was hosted by Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones. In the coveted age bracket, the show’s audience for Ms. Kelly was 5 percent smaller than it was the previous week.
NBC hired Ms. Kelly, 46, in January. She had spent 12 years as part of the 21st Century Fox family and was a popular figure among the cable network’s conservative viewers. In an effort to keep her from leaving, Fox reportedly offered her an annual salary of $20 million, but to no avail.
Ms. Kelly’s first “Today” hour, which featured as its main guests the cast of the rebooted NBC sitcom “Will & Grace,” had an audience of 2.9 million viewers. The next day, 2.6 million viewers tuned in. By week’s end, the number had fallen to 2.3 million.
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