Get ready for the morning wars to heat up once again.
As early as May, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly could step into the 9 a.m. hour on NBC’s “Today” show, shaking up the current landscape of morning TV.
If Kelly goes on at 9 a.m. as reported, she will go toe-to-toe with Kelly Ripa’s “Live with Kelly," which she guest co-hosted just last November. Ripa has been looking for a permanent co-host since Michael Strahan made an abrupt move over to "Good Morning America," the "Today" show's chief competition.
Although it has not been confirmed exactly what Kelly’s role will be on “Today,” she's indicated in the past that she has an interest in sit-down interview style reporting.
“Barbara Walters has retired, Diane Sawyer left her anchor role. Oprah has moved to the OWN network and is doing a different thing now," Kelly told Variety in 2015. "So why not me?”
Paired with Matt Lauer on "Today," many are wondering how well the two will work together.
“That’s a combination that will produce sparks," predicted Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants. "Lauer will have a hard time keeping up with her star power. She personifies the modern feminist. He’s got his work cut out for him."
Kelly’s move to NBC hasn’t been without controversy.
Despite the potential hosting shifts with Kelly's arrival, Schiffer says NBC is making the right choice for ratings.
“Women relate to her. She’ll pull in conservative women who may not have been watching. I’m not sure how she’ll do with Democrats, but she took on Trump, so I think they see her as a feminist,” Schiffer said.
He adds that Kelly’s competition should be very concerned. “She’s a big X-factor. They’re not sure if she’ll come in and slaughter the competition -- it’s on a nuclear level,” he said.
But the challenge for NBC may be sustaining new viewers after Kelly's initial premiere, said Robert J. Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.
“Kelly will be rolled out with lots of fanfare. She’s coming in as a big name. NBC is looking at this move as a potential legacy spot," he said. "However, I would hate [for] my retirement [to be] dependent on anyone in daytime, no matter how good they are.”