Megyn Kelly’s biggest audience so far this week – 2.2 million people – tuned in Wednesday night to hear the outcome of her morning meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. That includes 419K news-demo viewers.
The Kelly File, at 9 PM on FNC, trounced CNN’s much-ballyhooed town hall with GOP White House hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in the same timeslot (1.3M, 359K). Kelly likewise crushed Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show (1.1M, 310K).
Kelly’s show aired hours after press reports she’d been sighted entering Trump Tower on 5th Avenue to meet with the GOP frontrunner, who periodically has blasted her since the first GOP debate in August, when she asked him about his characterization of women in the past.
“You may have heard the news today, that Yours Truly took trip to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City,” Kelly said on her show. “The meeting was at my request. And Mr. Trump was gracious enough to agree to it. We met for about an hour, just the two of us. And had a chance to clear the air. Mr. Trump and I discussed the possibility of an interview. And I hope we will have news to announce on that soon.”
Immediately after Kelly’s show, a slightly smaller crowd of 1.9M viewers heard a Trump town hall crowd begin to boo when Sean Hannity ask the candidate about his meeting with her earlier in the day. That included 400K viewers in the news demo. Trump called Kelly’s reaching out to him “very, very nice.” The audience applauded.
“Maybe it was time, or maybe she felt it was time,” Trump said of the Kelly meeting, adding, “I give her a lot of credit for, you know, doing what she did.” He also supplied no details as to whether he will participate in her Fox Broadcast celebrity-interview special, saying, “let’s see what happens.”
And, in the end, it was Bill O’Reilly’s Kellly/Trump-meeting-free The O’Reilly Factor that snagged FNC’s largest primetime audience, 2.64M viewers, though Kelly and Hannity outstripped his 394K viewers in the news demo.