CBS host questions Megyn Kelly’s decision to avoid politics

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“CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell said Megyn Kelly made an “odd choice” in deciding not to discuss politics on her new NBC morning show “Megyn Kelly Today.”

CBS This Morning hosts Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, and Charlie Rose were participating in a discussion Wednesday night at the Paley Center for Media when moderator Marisa Guthrie brought up the general news media landscape.

In reference to Kelly, Rose said, “It’s very tough to come from where she came from and have established traction. Creating what you want to do is not easy. Time will tell.”

O’Donnell prefaced her comments by saying, “We are all friends with Megyn. We want to see her succeed and are fans of her past work and hope she will continue to do well.”

Then, she went on to question the former Fox News host’s decision to keep politics from being the focus of her program.

“I think the early move saying she wouldn’t cover politics was an odd choice to make,” O’Donnell said. “As a political journalist myself, I believe covering politics is important, and I don’t know how you can be a journalist and not cover politics. It’s at the heart of covering our democracy.”

“The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now,” Kelly said during the first show’s opening monologue. “You know why, right? We all feel it, it’s everywhere. It’s everywhere, and it’s gotten so dark, and I’m just like over.”

Even as she’s “over” politics, Kelly is seemingly struggling to find her footing as her show has been a ratings magnet. However, there has been an uptick in viewership recently, according to Nielsen, who reported a 10 percent increase in viewers last week as the show focused on sexual harassment, after the fallout over allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

“Megyn Kelly Today” averaged 2.338 total viewers last week, its highest average since its premier in late September.

As King said during the Paley Center discussion, “They’re still figuring it out, and it’s very rare that you put something on the air and it works instantly.”

“You have to work out the kinks, and find the rhythm to figure out what works for you,” King said.

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