Mailbag: Maria Taylor Domino Effect; Fox News 7 PM; Megyn Kelly

Perhaps my favorite role at OutKick is getting to take and answer questions from our readers.

Before we get into the questions, here are some recent interviews I've had with Tucker CarlsonJesse KellyLisa BootheMichael Knowles, and Jesse Watters. More to come. Stay tuned.

Keep the questions coming. And because so many of you request to remain anonymous, you can ask me just how bad your co-host is and I will gladly tell you.

Let's go. 

"How does the aftermath of the Maria Taylor saga play out, assuming she leaves ESPN?"

There's a strong possibility Maria Taylor ends up at NBC. But this is a person who held onto a colleague's private phone conversation for a year, turned down a $5 million annual offer, and has hired and fired every talent agency that exists. Until she's out the door, it's not officially over.

But to your question, the aftermath won't be positive either way. Taylor burned down the walls at ESPN. I guess that was her only option when the network decided not to pay her $7 million more than she's worth. (Yet ESPN remains so afraid of being called 'racist' that they'd still bring her back, if they could. If you know of a group of guys with fewer balls -- please, don't tell me about them.)

The most likely scenario is that ESPN would feel pressure to replace Taylor with a black female on NBA Countdown. The New York Times already has the headline written if ESPN plans to replace her with a white woman or black man. And before you say that they could replace her with a white guy, just stop. Please. Ain't no way a white guy will even get a look at that spot.

Promoting talents based on gender and skin color is what some call, well, racist, but that's still the plan at ESPN. If Taylor goes, ESPN's decision-making will focus even more on race. If that's even possible, which I hear it is.

Taylor's role on College GameDay will be a bit easier for ESPN to fill. The position is minuscule, but it still looks good in a Twitter bio and contract negotiations. ESPN has several names it could quickly throw in Taylor's place.

As for NBC, good luck.

NBC is willing to clear real estate on Football Night and America and the Olympics for Taylor. Taylor no doubt has the talent to succeed, but the moment she signs, NBC execs are on the clock.

$5 million a year wasn't enough for Taylor. Jumping the line over several veterans for NBA Countdown wasn't enough for her. No matter how much NBC gives Taylor, she will feel slighted, and she will use that perceived slight in future contract negotiations.

Prediction: if Taylor ends up at NBC, "sources inside NBC" will become a common phrase. ESPN talents will also see how easily Taylor got away with leaking information that she could then use to her advantage, and they'll try it too.

Good luck to all parties.

"Why doesn't Fox News narrow its choices down to Jesse Watters and Will Cain?"

I assume you are referring to the 7 pm hour on Fox News.

Jesse Watters and Will Cain are the two names the OutKick readers continuously tell me they want for the job. It's unclear, however, if the decision-makers at Fox agree.

Either of them would certainly do well as the permanent host, and both are at the top of my list, as is Brian Kilmeade. In January, before the network announced any tryouts, I named Watters, Cain, and Pete Hegseth as the top options for Fox News Primetime.

Watters is interesting and, viewership-wise, made a strong case two weeks ago.

Between June 28 and July 2, he averaged 1.78 million as host of FNP (the show averaged 1.56 million overall in the second quarter of 2021). Not only did Watters draw higher average viewership than the other candidates, but with him as host, FNP topped its lead-in, Special Report, all five days in the coveted 25-54 demographic. To learn more about why that was, check out my recent piece here.

If Watters is the choice, the question then becomes The Five, the network's third-most watched daily program. I would definitely not keep him on The Five, which airs from 5 to 6 pm, if they promote him to 7 pm.

As I argued, moving Watters would also be a good opportunity for Fox News to build another star. Fox News could elevate Watters' status at 7 pm and build a new star on The Five in his place. Will Cain and Pete Hegseth would be the best candidates to replace Watters.

By the way, though I love predictions, I don't quite have one for this spot yet. But I'll try to make one soon. Why not?

"Megyn Kelly to Sirius XM: good move or bad move?"

Great move. A move with high upside and little downside.

Forget the platform, Kelly turned an independent project into a partnership with one of the biggest audio companies in the industry.

While the media business is now complicated, with partnerships and non-exclusive contracts behind the scenes, success is simpler to predict than ever.

If a host has a loyal audience, he or she will succeed and make a lot of money. If a host does not have a loyal audience, then he or she needs to find a gig on a network for a smaller salary. Thus, the media middle class is about to find its place outside of the market.

All of the media's recent winners have taken an entrepreneurial route: Joe Rogan, Bill Simmons, Dave Portnoy, Pat McAfee, and Dan Le Batard. There's a trend. Like them, Kelly has an audience. Kelly signing with Sirius XM is a win for both parties.

Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter.

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Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.