Megyn Kelly’s troubled hour of the NBC News flagship “Today” show has been canceled as the Peacock Network continues to deal with backlash surrounding it's now former host's recent “blackface” remarks.
“’Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors,” an NBC News spokesperson told Fox News.
The announcement came as Kelly’s legal team is in on-going talks with NBC News to negotiate her exit from the network -- she is halfway through a three-year mega contract that pays her $23 million per annum.
The high-paid host’s rocky tenure at NBC is coming to an end after she made remarks about blackface on Tuesday during a segment about controversial Halloween costumes.
“But what is racist?” Kelly asked in a live panel discussion. “Because you get in trouble if you’re a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween… back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing like a character.”
Kelly’s time at NBC has been plagued by controversy and low ratings, as many industry insiders felt the former primetime cable news star was not a fit for morning television.
Kelly, a champion of the #MeToo movement, had also irked network honchos by taking on-air shots at NBC for not hiring an independent law firm to conduct an investigation into the culture of the company amid refusing to air Ronan Farrow’s reporting and Matt Lauer’s termination for sexual misconduct.
"'Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning"
Fox News learned that Kelly's legal team was insisting on having Farrow accompany her to settlement talks. Kelly had publically sided with Farrow, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning story about now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct was spiked by NBC suits. All this has resulted in NBC News chairman Andy Lack coming under fire for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations.
An NBC insider feels Lack wanted Kelly ousted for not toeing the company line — with the blackface remarks making a convenient excuse to terminate her.
Kelly offered a heartfelt apology to open her show on Wednesday and received a standing ovation from the in-studio audience. But Lack condemned Kelly’s comments during a previously scheduled town hall event for his news division staff on Wednesday.
Kelly's first season averaged nearly 2.4 million viewers, 375,000 fewer than the "Today" show 9 a.m. hour had before she arrived.