Megyn Kelly exits NBC after controversial tenure

Brenda Watkins
January 12, 2019

NBC announced Friday night that it has reached a final exit agreement (see: payout) with Kelly, whose departure was prompted when she questioned on air whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is actually racist.

Megyn Kelly and NBC have officially parted ways, three months after she stopped appearing on the network after making a widely criticized comment about blackface.

When approached by celebrity photographers on the street in New York City on Thursday, and asked "will we see you on TV this year", Kelly said.

Bowing to the terms of the contract, NBC will pay Kelly the remaining sum of money, believed to total about $30 million, two of the sources said.

"The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC", a network spokesperson told THR.

"But what is racist?" she wondered aloud. "Like back when I was a kid it was okay if you were dressing up as a character".

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In a sense, Kelly was caught in a no-woman's land: some at NBC were suspicious of her because of the Fox News background, while her former audience at Fox resented her for tough questioning of Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail.

Kelly will be subject to an industry standard nondisparagement clause, limiting what she can say about her time at NBC and her interactions with NBC executives.

NBC has yet to make an official announcement on who will replace Kelly on Today's third hour, but meteorologist Dylan Dreyer teased the decision on Twitter earlier this month.

Last week, NBC announced that Al Roker would be taking over Kelly's slot on the 9 a.m. hour of Today. Kelly said. "She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day".

Even before the controversial commentary, her future was considered limited at NBC News.

Kelly has not been on air since her comments on blackface in October. While it was reported past year that NBC was expected to pay out the rest of Kelly's contract in full, the two parties continued to negotiate other terms, including non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.

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