×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC News Chief Lack Tempers Expectations for Megyn Kelly

Megyn Kelly developed a reputation for vanquishing her time-slot competition while holding forth at Fox News Channel. NBC has hopes for more of the same – but does not expect number-one status right away.

Speaking at a meeting Tuesday with NBC affiliates, NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andrew Lack offered a humble outlook for Kelly’s initial performance in a Sunday newsmagazine slated to launch in June and a new morning show set to launch in the fall, according to a person present at the executive gathering.

“There are very few news organizations adding programs right now. We have a complete reset of the 9 a.m. hour coming with Megyn, and a new offering on Sunday night at 7 p.m.,” Lack said, according to this person. “It’s not going to be perfect on Day One, and we’re not going to be in first place on Day Two – but I’d rather be holding our cards than anyone else’s.”

Kelly left her “Kelly File” on Fox News in January. She made her first public appearance on behalf of NBCUniversal at that company’s upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday.

NBC News is placing a big bet on Kelly: She will compete with CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sundays in June, with a newsmagazine produced by “Dateline” overseers David Corvo and Liz Cole. And she will vie on the schedule with two of TV’s most enduring personalities — Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest — on weekday mornings.

The TV networks’ morning scrum has always been most frenetic during the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., when “Today,” “Good Morning America,” and “CBS This Morning” duke it out for the toast-and-eggs crowd. But the networks’ move to pit Kelly against Ripa and Seacrest could focus new attention on the time slot that follows those programs.

Rival executives have taken notice of the attention being accorded Kelly. “‘We won’t take too many shots at Megyn Kelly,” said CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, speaking to reporters about that network’s upfront presentation Wednesday morning.

More TV

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

  • SAG Rally

    SAG-AFTRA Rally Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty Draws Nearly 1,000

    SAG-AFTRA is keeping up the pressure on the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), holding a spirited mid-day rally at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Reps for the union said the noon event on Wednesday drew sign-ups from nearly 1,000 members and supporters at national headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard, followed by a two-block [...]

  • 'The Other Two' Bosses on Justin

    'The Other Two' Bosses on Justin Bieber as Inspiration for New Comedy Central Show

    After Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider’s tenure at “Saturday Night Live,” where they became the show’s youngest co-head writers and wrote music videos like the instant hit “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” the two headed to Comedy Central to do more “big dumb broad stuff and make fun of pop culture,” says Kelly. Their [...]

  • Alec Baldwin

    Alec Baldwin Pleads Guilty to Harassment in Parking Spot Fight

    Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty to a harassment charge stemming from an altercation over a parking spot, Variety confirmed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Deputy Press Secretary. The “Saturday Night Live” star was sentenced to a conditional discharge on Wednesday and will take a short-term anger management class. Baldwin was charged with attempted assault in the [...]

  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher Variety Facetime

    JoAnna Garcia Swisher Joins ABC Comedy Pilot 'Happy Accident'

    JoAnna Garcia Swisher has signed on for a leading role in the ABC single-camera comedy pilot “Happy Accident,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced cast member Matt Walsh. The show follows two Pittsburgh families – father Bud (Walsh) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer with her med student son – are forced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content