Kelly, who takes over “Today” at 9 a.m., had “congratulated” Kotb, “Mean Girls”-style, when the latter landed Matt Lauer’s job. On Jan. 2, Kelly said to Kotb, live on air, “We talked recently about how, 10 years ago, your life was very different. You were going through a dark period.”
But Kelly didn’t explain that she was referring to when Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery. She merely added, “Do you take a moment on a day like this to stop and think, ‘Holy moly’?”
An NBC News insider told Page Six, “Everybody in the control room gasped when Megyn brought up Hoda’s ‘dark period,’ because many viewers likely won’t know exactly what she was referring to. That comment was awkward, mean-spirited. It really stung.”
Kelly has her own staff and production team separate from her earlier hosts.
Now, Guthrie and Kotb’s team have hit back by poking fun at Kelly’s famously awkward run-in with Jane Fonda last September. The Hollywood legend shut down Kelly after being asked about her plastic surgery, later explaining that it was “the wrong time and place to ask that question.”
Then, this past week, Fonda appeared on Guthrie and Kotb’s show with her “Grace and Frankie” co-star Lily Tomlin. Kotb asked how long the two had known each other. “Fifty years — a long time,” Fonda answered, while Tomlin jokingly added, “I think before your first face-lift!” Fonda looked at Tomlin and replied, “Who are you? Megyn Kelly?”
Kotb and Guthrie burst out laughing before changing the subject from their NBC co-worker. But that wasn’t the end of it: “Today” producers then rapidly tweeted out the clip with the Megyn diss, even before Kelly got on the air.
Also this past week, a Kelly staffer was fired after reporting a “toxic and demeaning” work culture.
“Today” reps declined to comment.
This article originally appeared in Page Six.