Megyn Kelly officially leaves NBC with reported $30 million payout

Lula Sharp
January 13, 2019

Kelly's daytime talk show was cancelled in October after she made controversial statements about blackface.

Kelly will be walking away with her full $69 million contract, meaning she will be collecting a lump sum between $25 and $30 million, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Hard-charging Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman, who publicly feuded with NBC during the process, represented Kelly. Her remarks prompted an immediate outcry that led to Kelly's suspension and eventual removal from Today.

NBC says she'll be replaced in the third hour of the Today show by anchors Craig Melvin, Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones.

Because of the lofty salary, many industry insiders feel that the "blackface" scandal provided NBC with an opportune excuse to dump Kelly.The former Fox News star rose to fame as a fiery prime-time host, and media watchdogs felt from the outset that she was an awkward fit on a bubbly morning show. Kelly asked her guests.

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On Friday night, NBC News confirmed toThe New York Times that both sides reached an agreement, nearly three months after the network fired Kelly for wondering why it was inappropriate for people to wear blackface costumes on Halloween.

The episode with Trump accusers had more than 2.9 million viewers, one of her biggest audiences on the network. NBC would not comment Friday on whether the separation agreement allows her to write about her experiences at the network.

"What is racist?" she said on the show. "Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween".

"You'll definitely see me back on", she replied, adding that her first priority is to get a new dog.

Kelly's tenure at NBC News was rocky from the start, beginning with a short-lived Sunday night newsmagazine program that was rolled out with a widely panned interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.

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