Fox News said last month that it had released the popular anchor from her contract early, but a spokeswoman for Kelly said at the time that she and Fox News were still negotiating the terms of her departure. Now, this person said, Kelly and Fox News have finalized her separation from the 21st Century Fox unit, leaving her able to appear on NBC programs as quickly as deemed suitable. Kelly’s contract had been slated to end in July. She was best known for hosting the primetime show “The Kelly File” at 9 p.m. on Fox News Channel.
A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.
The move would presumably allow Kelly to start earlier than expected on two new projects she lead with NBC News. And it could also allow her to appear at NBCUniversal’s annual “upfront” presentation, when the company makes its opening bid to sell approximately $6 billion in commercial inventory to Madison Avenue. Having her contribute to NBCU properties such as MSNBC, “Today” or “NBC Nighly News” would allow her to remain in the public eye while she and NBC News collaborate on the new programs, slated to debut later this year.
One concept being designed around Kelly is a new morning program slated to air at either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. that will take up an hour previously allocated to NBC’s flagship “Today” program. NBC is considering not associating Kelly’s show with its morning franchise, according to one person familiar with the matter. NBC News has yet to disclose details about the show publicly.
Kelly’s other project is a Sunday-night newsmagazine that will have to be scheduled around NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” franchise.