×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Megyn Kelly, NBC News Near $30 Million Contract Settlement

Megyn Kelly and NBC News are said to be close to a $30 million settlement deal that will pay out the full value of the time remaining on her three-year contract.

News that the formal parting of Kelly and NBC is getting closer was previously reported Tuesday by the New York Post. A person familiar with the situation said the remaining haggling was not about money but the specifics of the non-compete clause and non-disclosure agreements for which NBC has pushed. The talks are not expected to conclude until next week because of Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Reps for NBCUniversal, NBC News and Kelly declined comment.

Kelly’s imminent exit is the last stage of a misplaced bet by NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, who wagered big money on luring the former Fox News star to a three-year deal in early 2017.

Kelly was removed nearly a month ago as host of the “Megyn Kelly Today” 9 a.m. hour of NBC News’ lucrative “Today” franchise after she defended the use of blackface for Halloween costumes on air.

Before the blackface segment, Kelly and NBC News executives had been in talks to find her a new role beyond the ratings-challenged morning show, one that would involve her in hard news stories. Those conversations were derailed, however, after Kelly opened her Oct. 23 broadcast with a discussion of Halloween costumes and her defense of the use of blackface that drew criticism not only on social media, but also from NBC News colleagues including Al Roker and Craig Melvin.

The uproar made keeping Kelly on the air untenable for NBC. And it was the final nail in the coffin in the already-soured relationship between Kelly, Lack and a number of her NBC News colleagues.

Kelly got off to a rocky start at NBC News when she launched the poorly received newsmagazine “Sunday With Megyn Kelly” early on in her tenure. She shifted her focus to the 9 a.m. hour in September 2017. Her first few weeks on the air were choppy as she had uncomfortable on-air exchanges with guests including Jane Fonda and the cast of “Will & Grace.”

After the #MeToo movement began to gain steam, Kelly found a niche in telling the stories of victims of harassment and sexual abuse. But she never rebounded from the ratings declines that her show delivered compared to the previous “Today” host rotation.

Kelly’s failure to adapt to NBC News environs after making a name for herself as a tough interviewer on Fox News reflects the balkanized nature of the TV news landscape these days. Kelly’s Fox News audience never followed her to daytime TV. NBC News has been criticized for laying out an estimated $23 million a year for a news star at a time when newsgathering resources are being stretched thin amid the spike in political and national news and the growing number of platforms that need to be served.

This isn’t the first time NBCU made a big talent bet and missed a reward. The company lured Josh Elliott from ABC’s “Good Morning America” to NBC Sports in 2014, but the alliance proved ill-fated. Elliott would leave the company without finding a particular niche and worked for CBS News for a period of time afterwards.

Reports of a $30 million deal for Kelly to depart are also drawing outrage in social media and in journalism circles.

More TV

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    James Corden's Fulwell 73 to Develop Sci-Fi Drama at CBS (EXCLUSIVE)

    CBS is developing a drama series that hails from James Corden’s production company, Fulwell 73, Variety has learned exclusively. The series is titled “Embody.” In the series, after a mission gone wrong renders her permanently blind, a special agent volunteers for an experimental government program that can temporarily transfer her consciousness into someone else’s body, giving [...]

  • Jimmy Kimmel's Latest Trolling Effort Involves

    Jimmy Kimmel's Latest Trolling Effort Involves 'Fortnite'

    The latest request from Jimmy Kimmel asks parents to turn off the TV while kids are playing “Fortnite.” The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live explained that he asked parents to prank their kids with a new Youtube Challenge called “Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I turned off the TV during Fortnite.” Parents participated by filming the results [...]

  • Celebrities Sound Off on 2018

    Celebrities Pick Their Favorite Movies and TV Shows of 2018

    Still looking for the latest and greatest movie, TV series or book to finish before the year is out? Why not ask the folks behind Hollywood’s favorite hits, what they’re reading and viewing this 2018. We reached out to the stars and creators behind the things you love (including Barry Jenkins, Steven Canals and Dan Levy)  to [...]

  • Mary Poppins 1964

    P.L. Travers' Efforts to Adapt 'Mary Poppins' for Film, TV Were Often Less Than Jolly

    Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel decades in the making, opens Dec. 19. Even before the 1964 original, Hollywood made several attempts to adapt P.L. Travers’ books, with Samuel Goldwyn and Katharine Hepburn among those involved in the chase. But aside from a one-hour 1949 CBS television version, they all hit a dead-end. The first [...]

  • Morgan Spurlock Sexual Misconduct

    Morgan Spurlock to Pay TNT $1.2 Million After Abandoning Docuseries

    Morgan Spurlock has reached a settlement with Turner Entertainment Networks a year after he confessed to a history of sexual misconduct and walked away from a documentary series. Spurlock’s company, Warrior Poets, has agreed to pay Turner $1,173,707, according to a final judgment filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday. In the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content