If you believe Cheyenne Roundtree’s article at London’s Daily Mail, civil – make that decidedly uncivil – war has broken out at NBC.
According to Ms. Roundtree, not only are NBC staffers major-league upset at the sudden termination of Matt Lauer, but they are furious over the comments made about his firing by their new, wildly overpaid and underwatched “star”, Megyn Kelly.
Here’s a taste for you:
Staffers at The Today Show have expressed their disgust and outrage at Megyn Kelly for her smug, self-aggrandizing display and insensitivity to her distraught colleagues in the wake of Matt Lauer’s firing.
Insiders at the show told DailyMail.com that if she had a public comment to make she should have focused on the accuser and the Today team who are devastated by by the allegation surrounding Lauer and his firing, which came late Tuesday night.
Instead, Kelly used her platform on her show Wednesday to say: ‘This one does hit close to home. I too have known Matt for a long time and he has been a friend and kind and supportive to me in my transition to NBC News.’
And later that day, at a media event in Manhattan, she hailed his firing as ‘a sign of progress.’
Her Today Show colleagues are outraged.
‘We work in an industry of egos but this is the most opportunistic thing we’ve ever seen,’ said one staffer.
‘We now have the highest paid person at NBC News hosting one of the lowest rating shows, and rather than being humble, she takes the first opportunity to take the spotlight and make it all about her and what she knew.
‘Our team is hurting and the newest member of the team who is yet to prove herself is out and about making public comments that she truly has no knowledge of.’
All day members of the Today show were crying and distraught, staffers told DailyMail.com.
‘But rather than sticking around and spending time with the staff, Megyn made sure she was the center of attention.
‘No one wanted Megyn here, she was forced upon us and today reinforced why she will never be a member of the Today family.’
Megyn saw this as an opportunity to mark her territory within NBC News. Yet she failed and she’s now lost the support of everyone.
Savannah, Hoda and Al showed grace and class, colleagues said. They were shell shocked and tried to strike the balance of reporting on someone they had known for years and considered a friend, while also showing respect for the accuser who made a very difficult decision to file formal complaint against the most powerful person at NBC News – effectively changing the face of the Today Show forever.
A staffer said: ‘Megyn on the other hand saw this as an opportunity to mark her territory within NBC News. Yet she failed and she’s now lost the support of everyone.
‘And here’s something we’d like to say about her – she’s terrible on morning television, her show is terrible, her staff think she is terrible, in fact her show should be call Terrible with Megyn Kelly.
‘They were right over at Fox News, she deserves the nickname ‘Me-Again’ – as it is all about her even though she fails to see that the viewers don’t like her.’
If those quotes are accurate, they go far beyond the internecine squabbling that goes on in any corporation, media or otherwise. This is all-out civil war.
Are they correct about Kelly’s ratings? Other than the last couple of weeks, when they have jumped up because she was working the sexual harassment story, the answer is yes. Kelly, certainly based on her ionospheric $23 million a year salary, is a ratings bust.
Add in her apparently imperious demeanor and the fact that she came from the hated Fox News Channel, and you don’t exactly get a smiley-face photo op.
What will the future bring for Ms. Kelly?
Well, reports – not at all confirmed, just rumors – are that she is now angling to take over Matt Lauer’s job. If that is true – and even if she doesn’t get it – you can bet your last dollar that this war will escalate dramatically.
Somewhere in the ether, the ghost of Roger Ailes is smiling broadly…