Steve Harvey is attempting to save his new talk show by distancing himself from President Trump after his ratings took a hit due to fallout for taking a meeting with Trump in January, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned.
The 60-year-old relaunched his daytime show when his previous program was set to be canceled because the host refused to sign his contract because he wasn't getting a raise and couldn't move his show to Los Angeles.
As a result, Harvey's talent agency decided to launch a new show, simply retitled Steve, for the comic based in Hollywood in an effort to keep the show going.
The retooled show premiered on September 5 after a few months of preparation, and both ratings and reviews for the program have been less than stellar.
Sources close to the production told DailyMail.com they believe the poor numbers reflect a fallout from Harvey's black audience after he met with Trump in January.
Now Harvey is turning on the president in a desperate bid to save his show, recently proclaiming on his radio show: 'Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life.'
A source close to the production told DailyMail.com: 'People just hate the show. He wanted to do a late-night feel for the show, but he's on a big stage with a desk and a lot of open space and nothing about the show is engaging or warm. People just aren't into it at all.'
Harvey's first daytime talk show, called Steve Harvey, premiered on NBC in 2012, boasting a strong 2.2 in ratings and was a solid performer for at least half of its run.
When the revamped show Steve premiered earlier this fall, the show debuted at a 1.8 but quickly dropped to a 1.4 in the ratings.
For the first time, his once-popular talk show was being beat by Wendy Williams in the ratings and he's neck and neck with Jerry Springer and Rachael Ray.
The source explained: 'Steve could have continued to survive with the first version of his show with these ratings because the show was produced out of Chicago and was less expensive to produce.
'But doing a daily talk show out of Los Angeles costs big dollars and with his current ratings, there's no way in hell WME-IMG can continue to bleed money like this into a sinking ship.'
Harvey faced a tremendous backlash from his TV and radio fans when he paid a visit to Trump Tower in New York City to meet with Donald Trump in January.
African-Americans were outraged by the images of Harvey being chummy with the then-President Elect and many called for boycotts against the comic.
Harvey was dismissive and defiant despite the backlash and lashed out at fans for challenging his decision.
The source said: 'This is the moment his brand took a hit. He had been through a few scandals before - the divorces, the Miss Universe Pageant and the Asian joke gone bad - but he had never faced the wrath of his core audience before, middle-aged African Americans.
'And unfortunately for Steve, he was too arrogant to realize the weight of his mistake and never made amends to his loyal followers for it.'
Since then, the ratings for Harvey's game show Family Feud took a dip and the audience for his variety show Little Big Shots dropped almost by half.
But it wasn't until the ratings for his revamped talk show started suffering did Harvey acknowledge his glaring Trump error.
During interviews to promote the show, he revealed that he regretted taking the meeting.
'Here's the crazy thing: I'm supposed to be on a boat for my 60th birthday, so my wife says, "Steve, just take off [and skip the meeting]. You'll meet with him some other time." God, I should've listened,' Harvey told The Hollywood Reporter.
DailyMail.com previously reported that Harvey desperately wanted to move his daytime show to the West Coast because his third wife, Marjorie Harvey, wanted to live in Los Angeles to work on a TV career of her own.
She has branded herself as a fashion expert online and runs a website called TheLadyLovesCouture.com.
Several times over the past few weeks, Harvey has addressed the Trump meeting while discussing Colin Kaepernick and the NFL controversy on his syndicated radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show.
He told his listeners: 'Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there.'
For many former fans, Harvey's about-face is falling on deaf ears because many of them feel it's all self-serving now.
'The research and the ratings line up, people who were once fans of Steve's just aren't anymore. The whole Trump ordeal was a wake-up call for many of them and they've decided they just aren't interested in him any longer,' the source explained.
As a result of his TV talk show moving to Los Angeles, Harvey also had to move his morning radio show there as well.
His syndicator, Premiere Networks originally balked at the idea of Harvey relocating his radio show from its hub in Atlanta, although Steve broadcast from his TV studio in Chicago.
'In radio, you syndicate east to west, not west to east. The idea that talent can be fresh and effective at 3am PT for the live audience at 6am ET is a big no-no in radio,' explained a source with knowledge of the matter.
But Premiere Networks conceded to do the deal with Harvey only if he closed down his company Steve Harvey Radio and allowed them to take ownership of his morning show.
'Now Steve no longer owns his show and all of the co-hosts and staff checks come directly from Premiere,' shared the source.
Earlier this year, Harvey hired famed crisis expert Judy Smith to help overhaul his image, but apparently, he took very little of her advice and continued to hold a grudge against the people who spoke out against him in a way that continued to anger his followers.
'Now, Steve apparently realizes that despite his prior successes he's lost a significant part of his audience and he's working diligently to win them back over - whether they feel it's genuine or not,' the source concluded.
NBC and IMG will likely announce sometime in December whether the revamped version of Steve will return for season two.
Date Posted: Monday, October 30th, 2017 , Total Page Views: 20353
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