Fox News had a roller coaster 2016. Gretchen Carlson accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment leading to his departure from the network. Greta van Susteren announced her departure soon afterwards. Yet despite these significant vacancies, Fox News finished the year as the highest rated cable network in the country.
The high ratings were due on part to Megyn Kelly. Kelly’s ratings were consistently high. She garnered additional attention of her own as she made headlines following the first Republican presidential debate. Kelly and now President-elect Trump engaged in a heated back-and-forth which began during that debate and continued well afterwards.
In these first weeks of 2017, NBC announced two new acquisitions: Kelly and Van Susteren, also a former Fox News host. No doubt, NBC is hoping that brining in these two high ratings hosts will help their own faltering ratings. But the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday that a new poll does not look very promising for the network.
A recent poll by Morning Consult reveals that most Fox News viewers do not plan to follow Kelly to NBC. However, 36 percent of male Democrats and 18 percent of female Democrats “said they are more likely to watch Kelly on NBC News.” Similarly, more than 27 percent of people who voted for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton said they are also more likely to watch Kelly on NBC. To the contrary, “25 percent of Republican women” said “her move makes them less likely to watch her program.”
Kelly will likely draw some additional Democratic viewership compared to her audience at Fox News, but she will also likely be losing some of her Fox News fans who fail to follow her to NBC.
This is bad news for NBC as the network struggles to gain a prominence as a leading news organization amid the growing viewership of cable news channels, conservative radio and alternative, online news sources.
Source: Washington Examiner