NEW YORK, N.Y. — Despite weeks of controversy leading up to Megyn Kelly’s showdown with Alex Jones, the former Fox News host’s show, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” was a bust with network viewers who seem to have lost interest in the one time ratings queen.
According to Sunday night’s Nielsen ratings (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/megyn-kelly-PECLB0000009270-topic.html), “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” averaged just 3.53 million viewers during its Sunday 7 p.m. time slot, the lowest figure yet since the program debuted on NBC on June 4. Ratings were so dismal, as a matter of fact, that Kelly’s program was easily beat by a rerun of “60 Minutes” on CBS, which averaged 5.3 million viewers in that same hour.
NBC tried hard to promote the program, which featured what turned out to be a heavily edited interview with alternative news host Alex Jones, but in the end, network viewers just didn’t seem to care.
Kelly sparked a great deal of controversy over the interview with Jones, who has been vocal in his questioning of the government’s official story surrounding the events of 9/11 and the shooting at Sandy Hook.
For his part, Jones, who went public last week with claims that Kelly had manipulated the interview to create a “hit piece” on him, released his own audio recording of the interview in its entirety in an effort to expose what he claimed was Kelly’s promoting of “fake news” (http://thehill.com/homenews/media/338097-alex-jones-releases-more-secret-taped-megyn-kelly-audio-nbc-responds).
In the audio, which was recorded without Kelly’s knowledge, Kelly can allegedly be heard telling Jones that her goal was to show Jones’ softer side because, as she put it, she believed that he had been misrepresented in the media.
“The reason you are interesting to me is because I followed your custody case, and I think you had a very good point about how the media was covering it and for some reason treated you and your family and what was going on as fair game when they never would have done that if you were a mainstream media figure,” Kelly can be heard telling Jones. “I saw a different side of you in that whole thing and, you know, you just became very fascinating to me.”
Jones, upon seeing a promo piece released by Kelly to promote the interview, was quick to respond with allegations that the interview had been over edited and that he had been lied to.
“I’ve never done this in 22 years, I’ve never recorded another journalist,” Jones said on his daily radio show, “Infowars”. “I’ve never done this, but I knew that it was a fraud, that it was a lie.”
Kelly’s program is slated to run through the summer, but insiders say that based on poor performance, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” is unlikely to finish a full season.
Kelly joined NBC News in January after 13 years at Fox News for a reported $17 million per year. The former “Kelly File” host left Fox for NBC after controversy erupted surrounding what supporters of then presidential candidate Donald Trump called poor treatment of the Republican candidate during a series of debates, which Kelly had been tapped to moderate.