Megyn Kelly Emerges as FNC Ratings Champ
By Toni Fitzgerald, MediaLifeMagazine.com
June 11, 2014
And last week, for just the second time, that program was “The Kelly File,” the 9 p.m. FNC show (6 pm Pacific) that joined the primetime lineup last fall.
The program, hosted by Megyn Kelly, finished ahead of its 8 p.m. lead-in, “The O’Reilly Factor,” among adults 25-54, albeit just by a hair.
Kelly’s five weeknight programs averaged 413,000 in the demo during the week ended June 8, according to Nielsen, just ahead of “Factor” 402,000.
It wasn’t the first time Kelly beat O’Reilly. Her program finished ahead of “Factor” one week in May, but O’Reilly was out that week and had a substitute host filling in.
“File” also topped “Factor” for the week ended June 8 among total viewers, with 2.593 million to the latter’s 2.528 million.
Of course, it’s just one week, and both shows are playing for the same team anyway. Fox News Channel remains the dominant cable news network by a wide margin; among the Big Three cable news networks last week, FNC had the top 82 programs in total viewers.
But “File’s” win is a blip to keep an eye on, simply because of the long-term question of who represents the face of Fox News. It’s been O’Reilly for more than a decade.
Kelly would be an ideal choice to replace him. She’s smart and, in an industry that continues to value women on their looks more than men, attractive.
And although she’s less polarizing than O’Reilly, she still takes strong stands on issues and pushes against the current White House administration, something Fox News’ audience loves.
During last week’s strong run, “File’s” top episode was an interview with members of controversial P.O.W. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon, which averaged 496,000 in 25-54s and 2.98 million total viewers, highs for 2014.