Megyn Kelly will not return to her 9 a.m. program on NBC, the network said Friday, as the beleaguered host remains in negotiations over a likely exit from the NBC airwaves.
The cancellation of “Megyn Kelly Today,” formally announced to the show’s staff Friday, was widely expected after an outcry over Kelly’s on-air remarks this week asking why it was inappropriate for white people to dress in blackface on Halloween.
“Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other ‘Today’ co-anchors,” an NBC News spokeswoman said in a statement.
Kelly’s status at NBC is the subject of high-stakes discussions between her lawyer, Los Angeles litigator Bryan Freedman, and the network’s executives.
“Megyn remains an employee of NBC News, and discussions about next steps are continuing,” Freedman said in a statement Friday.
Kelly joined NBC News in 2017 after 12 years at the Fox News Channel, where she drew big ratings as a prime time anchor. At NBC, she has clashed with colleagues and management while earning middling ratings for her morning show.
She is in the midst of a three-year contract estimated to be worth $69 million. A negotiated departure could include a substantial payout.
Kelly has not appeared on television since Wednesday, when she offered a tearful apology for her remarks suggesting that when she was young, dressing in blackface was accepted “as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
Her NBC colleagues, including Kelly’s fellow “Today” hosts Al Roker and Craig Melvin, have publicly denounced those remarks. And the NBC News chairman, Andrew Lack, told employees Wednesday that he condemned her comments, and offered no praise for Kelly’s attempts to apologize.
By Wednesday evening, Kelly had split with her agents at Creative Artists Agency. But she failed to find other representation when United Talent Agency declined to take her on as a client. Freedman, the litigator, is now handling negotiations for what is expected to be her departure.
Reruns of “Megyn Kelly Today” aired Thursday and Friday. At the close of Wednesday’s episode — now officially its last — Kelly offered a cheery, if inadvertent farewell.
“Have a great day, everybody!” Kelly said, smiling. “We’ll see you tomorrow!”