Thanks to her performance as the moderator of the first Republican debate, the size of Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s average audience in the key demographic of 25-to-54 year olds surpassed that of Bill O’Reilly in the third quarter of this year, CNN Money reports.
O’Reilly, also a Fox host, has had the highest viewership in that demographic every single quarter since 2005, a record streak.
The third quarter consists of July, August, and September. The first GOP debate was held on August 6, and Kelly received a tidal wave of media attention in the following weeks, much of it focused on her volatile relationship with Donald Trump. After the Republican candidate criticized Kelly, many of his supporters threatened to boycott Fox, specifically her show The Kelly File, which didn’t seem to have much of an impact on her ratings.
Kelly received an average viewership of 509,000 people in that key demographic; O’Reilly trailed right behind her with 503,000.
Kelly’s ratings received a huge boost when a special edition of The Kelly File aired immediately after the August 6 debate. If numbers from that night are excluded, her average viewership in the 25-to-54 year old demographic drops down to 461,000, giving O’Reilly a lead of 42,000 and maintaining his streak.
This win for Kelly is not necessarily a loss for O’Reilly. Despite her success with the important demographic this quarter, O’Reilly remains number one in viewership overall with an average of 2.87 total viewers compared to Kelly’s average 2.53 million.