Megyn Kelly is increasingly unlikely to get paid the rest of her $69 million contract as she and NBC executives negotiate her exit from the network, according to a new report.
NBC canceled “Megyn Kelly Today” after the former Fox News host, who joined NBC in mid-2017, questioned why blackface or whiteface was considered racist in the context of Halloween costumes.
After making the comments in a panel discussion on Oct. 23, Kelly apologized the next day on her show, saying she’d listened to feedback and come to believe that the practices were completely racist.
Kelly and executives at NBC have repeatedly clashed since she joined the network, including over her coverage of the #MeToo scandals at the network. She also reportedly refused to accept the possibility of Matt Lauer, one of the NBC employees accused of sexual misconduct, returning to the network.
NBC News head Andy Lack has made it clear in negotiations with Kelly’s team that she will not get paid for the rest of her $69 million contract, of which she’s owed about $50 million, sources told Deadline.
“A lot has changed in the last year and this isn’t looking like a ‘Here’s your check, let’s call it a day’ resolution now,” one source inside NBC said.
The source claimed that Lack “sought out Megyn” for big things at his network and “feels betrayed by her personally.”
Kelly also suffered from mediocre ratings in her morning show and wanted to return to a news-focused show, a format she thrived in at Fox News before departing that station. She had a Sunday news show, “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” but it only aired eight episodes in the summer of 2017.
NBC said it would be bringing it back in the summer of 2018 but that never materialized.
While Deadline reported Kelly wouldn’t get anywhere close to the full payout of her contract, other reports have reported differently.
Kelly’s lawyer Bryan Freedman was planning to tell executives that they would have to pay Kelly the money she’s owed to force her exit or else they would face a lawsuit.
And another report indicated that Kelly’s contract could not be broken so she would have to be paid in full.
“Her deal is a non-break deal – so she walks away with all that money,” a source, named as an anonymous NBC executive, told the Daily Mail.