|Kelly with Alex Jones|
NBC expects the advertiser flight to be temporary, according to CNN.
\"This comes with the territory," NBC News chairman Andy Lack told CNN Tuesday. "We kind of know, when we're doing controversial stories, that's going to happen. It doesn't stop us from doing controversial stories."
NBC declined to say how many advertisers have distanced themselves from Kelly's new show "Sunday Night." Most of them are on the local level, meaning companies that bought ads on NBC-owned stations.
NBC expects there will be a full slate of nationally televised ads on Kelly's show this Sunday, despite the controversy.
As for the companies that have withdrawn, "they'll all be coming back, they've been clear about that," Lack said Tuesday.
Only one of them, J.P. Morgan Chase, has been identified publicly. While the company has declined to comment, the Wall Street Journal reported that the bank asked for all of its ads to be removed from "all NBC news programming until after the show airs."
Kelly, who jumped to NBC News from Fox News Channel earlier this year, received more bad news from the ratings book Tuesday. After the debut episode of "Sunday Night" drew an estimated six million viewers June 4, the show's second episode pulled just 3.6 million viewers, less than half the number drawn by a repeat episode of CBS' "60 Minutes."
"What I think we're doing is journalism," Kelly told the Associated Press in an interview later Tuesday. "The bottom line is that while it's not always popular, it's important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He's been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don't get the choice over who has power or influence in our country."
Meanwhile, Fox News reports Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence group, said it had asked Kelly to step down as host of its Wednesday night gala in Washington. Nicole Hockley, the group's co-founder and managing director, said the group could not support Kelly or NBC's decision to give a platform to Jones and hopes NBC reconsiders its plan to broadcast the interview. Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the tragedy, founded the organization with Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son Daniel.
Kelly said she understood and respected the decision, but was disappointed.