Megyn Kelly is officially done with NBC after months of negotiating, the network announced Friday night.
“The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” an NBC News statement said.
Kelly was roughly halfway through a three-year deal for a whopping total of $69 million.
It’s been widely reported that she will collect the remaining cash, although it wasn’t officially announced.
Terms of a non-disparagement agreement were critical for both sides, as Kelly has hinted that she knows about some of the skeletons in NBC’s closet.
On Thursday night, Kelly told a TMZ cameraman that she would “definitely” return to television in 2019.
Kelly’s tenure at NBC News was rocky from the start, beginning with a short-lived Sunday night newsmagazine program that was rolled out with a widely panned interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
NBC News was then criticized for the way the network promoted her next interview — with controversial “InfoWars” host Alex Jones, who infamously called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax.
Things didn’t exactly improve once Kelly’s hour of NBC’s flagship “Today” show kicked off in the fall of 2017. “Today” loyalists were furious that fan favorite Tamron Hall was shown the door to make room for Kelly. Then “Megyn Kelly Today” made early headlines when the highly compensated host asked Hollywood icon Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery — which resulted in a public feud.
Kelly’s first season averaged nearly 2.4 million viewers, 375,000 fewer than the “Today” show 9 a.m. hour had drawn before she arrived. Her fate at NBC was essentially sealed when she pondered why “blackface” is frowned upon during a live panel discussion about Halloween costumes.
NBC announced on October 26 that Kelly’s troubled hour of the NBC News flagship “Today” would not return after the controversial “blackface” remarks. Since the announcement, her status had been in limbo as lawyers worked out the details of the breakup.
Hard-charging Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman, who publicly feuded with NBC during the process, represented Kelly. He accused the network of allowing “completely false and irresponsible” rumors to circulate, while NBC mocked Freedman for negotiating through the media.
Because of the lofty salary, many industry insiders feel that the “blackface” scandal provided NBC with an opportune excuse to dump Kelly.The former Fox News star rose to fame as a fiery prime-time host, and media watchdogs felt from the outset that she was an awkward fit …