It’s now confirmed that Megyn Kelly is officially out at NBC:
JUST IN: Megyn Kelly is OUT at NBC just 48 hours after defending blackface as she and the network fight over whether she will be paid out her $69M contract in full – Daily Mail
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 25, 2018
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) October 25, 2018
Megyn Kelly has been taken off the air during 9am slot on NBC following blowback after she questioned the offensiveness of blackface, angering much of her audience and colleagues at the network.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy, quoting Brian Stelter, (both noted “media experts,”) weighed in on the reports:
—@brianstelter reports, via a person familiar with the matter, that @megynkelly‘s show will be ending. Negotiations about the end date and other details are still underway, the person said. https://t.co/pqf9TejmCL
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 25, 2018
Kelly’s comments, which came during a discussion on offensive Halloween costumes, can be viewed below:
In Stelter’s report at CNN, he said that “Kelly’s exit from the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show appears to be imminent, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Kelly will not be hosting her program on Thursday, and she is unlikely to return later, one of the sources said. Friday episodes of her show are usually pre-taped.”
So while Kelly will technically be hosting her show until the end of the week due to pre-tapings, it’ll exclude her starting next week. Yesterday, ahead of this news, Kelly parted with her talent agency CAA and hired attorney Bryan Freedman. “The decision to retain a lawyer may signal a lengthy battle over her contract, which is reportedly valued at $23 million a year. She is in the middle of the second year of a three year contract,” Stelter noted.
CBS also reported that Kelly’s show is in jeopardy this morning:
Kelly is just one year into her $69 million contract, and NBC must be regretting the blunder. The combined salaries of previous hosts Al Roker and Tamron Hall were less than half of Ms. Kelly’s $23 million-a-year payday, and Kelly has averaged 2.4 million viewers an episode, 18% below what they brought in.
Paying more for less is hardly a winning business strategy, and NBC has their hands tied. Do they waste more money on legal fees disputing her contract, or reposition her on another show, risking their ratings too? Given Kelly’s ratings, NBC was probably looking for a catalyst to take her off the air, but even then, they’re financially screwed.
NBC is caught between a rock and a hard place, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Fox News must be breathing a sigh of relief.