Flagging Nielson ratings have plagued NBC’s “Today” show since early last fall, when former Fox News evening anchor Megyn Kelly joined the peacock’s team. In the critical 25-54-year-old demographic, Kelly’s 9 a.m. slot has taken a 30 percent hit since the same time last year, Page Six reported this weekend. The 10 a.m. slot has also suffered a 20 percent slide since Kelly’s debut.  

But ratings aren’t the only way NBC is hurting, according to reports. Issues within Kelly’s show have emerged as the 47-year-old TV star, attorney and author has struggled to soften her tone and modify her approach to appeal to TV viewers in the morning.

Kelly bills herself as a committed #MeToo advocate — but reactions of former and present female colleagues and guests suggest that entitled and dismissive behavior toward women smacks of hypocrisy. One of those women is makeup artist and mom of three Iren Halperin, who worked with Kelly at Fox back in 2009; she retired a couple of years ago.

Halperin related an ugly interaction she had with Kelly for the Page Six piece by Dana Schuster. Halperin described an incident in which Kelly arrived early and proceeded to insist on skipping to the front of the line to have her makeup done. She “snapped her finger and pointed at the reporter [seated in the makeup chair] and said, ‘You, get out of the chair,'” Page Six reported.

Halperin also said Kelly lied to management about the incident and blamed it on Halperin.

“She was difficult and demanding,” Halperin told Page Six. “And if you didn’t do what she wanted, she would try to get you in trouble.” Halperin asked to be assigned to a different anchor — as did another Fox News staffer, whose name was not provided.

It seems a change of personality did not accompany Kelly to a change of networks. The toxic atmosphere on “Megyn Kelly Today” regularly brings staffers to tears, an NBC veteran told Page Six for the same article.

Kelly’s dramas are not limited to disrespecting female colleagues, either. They’ve leaked onto the show in the form of awkward interactions with her guests.

In January, Kelly came under fire for appearing to endorse fat-shaming. While interviewing a fitness model, Kelly said that loathsome criticisms are effective and that she herself had asked her own stepfather to call her a “fat a**” back when she was trying to lose weight.

Related: Megyn Kelly Embarrasses Herself and Endorses Fat Shaming

Who do you think would win the Presidency?

Other recent debacles on the set have demonstrated questionable judgment. For example, she asked Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery in an interview — and later challenged “Hanoi Jane’s” patriotism in a monologue. She doubled down on the inappropriate interview months later on the air, after Fonda had joked about it with Kelly’s NBC colleagues, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

“She is hated inside the ‘Today’ show and is seen as tarnishing the brand, out-of-control and selfish,” an unidentified NBC source told Page Six.

To be sure, this is one source, one account — but it echoes previous reports about the performance of Kelly’s show. Back in October of 2017, Investment Watch Blog featured a piece that carried the headline, “Megyn Kelly Is Tanking NBC’s Morning Ratings.”

Kelly’s three-year contract appears to amount to a $23 million annual mistake for NBC. There is a limited array of possibilities for the network to mitigate this situation.

The first is to keep her where she is and rein her in, though this may not work, given her personality.

“The general feeling is that she will not last three years.”

A second possibility is to reassign her. For this to be effective, the network likely would need to move her to an evening time slot, probably covering hard-hitting politics, as she did earlier in her career.

The third approach, which may be the most realistic — though financially painful — is for NBC to admit its mistake, cut its losses, and let her go. Given the statement of Page Six’s anonymous network source on the matter, that may be the direction the network takes.

“The general feeling is that she will not last three years,” the insider told Page Six.

The account also noted this: “While ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is up 18 percent in the 25-54 demographic since its launch, ratings still aren’t where the network wants them to be.”

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.