Kelly's sit down with Jones, a controversial, conspiracy theorist radio host and founder of the website Infowars, brought in an average of 3.5 million viewers Sunday night. Money reports that while Kelly's interview with the "Infowars" host garnered its fair share of headlines, the actual broadcast flopped with advertisers' most-prized demo group. Forbes reported JPMorgan, along with several local advertisers, dropped spots from the show or, in the case of the financial company, the enirety of NBC News, until after the interview aired.
In an internal memo that was obtained and published by the Hartford Courant, NBC Connecticut WVIT's President and General Manager Susan Tully said the decision to boycott the presentation was based on conversations with the families of the shooting victims.
The interview also was seen as a test of the interviewing skills of Kelly, the former Fox News star whose questions two weeks ago for Vladimir Putin were widely panned for being too easy on the Russian leader. That episode drew an average of 6.2 million viewers.
"Infowars" host Jones never gave a direct answer in a segment Sunday night on NBC's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.' Kelly has been criticized intensely for giving a platform to Jones, who has also called the September 11 attacks an inside job".
But the controversy didn't end there.
Kelly challenged Jones from the start, introducing him as a "radical conspiracy theorist" and promising to confront him on his "notorious lie" about Sandy Hook. In response to criticism, Kelly invited parents to participate in the segment, an offer that one father accepted.
One Newtown parent did appear on Kelly's program: Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was killed.
Jones said at one point that he was playing "devil's advocate" in denying the mass shooting.
Audio of the interview leaked prior to the telecast when Jones posted it online in an effort to discredit Kelly's line of questioning. Lawyers representing 12 people who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre wrote to the network and asked them not to air the interview.
ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams praised Kelly, writing on Twitter, "I'm even more convinced that her piece wasn't just OK to do, but important journalism". But he says there is still plenty of time.