Coverage: NBC and Kelly reach a separation agreement
NBC News announced its professional divorce agreement with Megyn Kelly late Friday, ending an association with the former Fox News Channel star whose attempt to become a network morning television star as part of the “Today” show floundered.
David Bauder of the Associated Press had the news:
Terms were not disclosed. Kelly was in the second of a three-year contract that reportedly paid her more than $20 million a year.
She’s been off the air since October after creating a furor by suggesting that it was OK for white people to wear blackface on Halloween, and exit negotiations had dragged for two months over the holidays. Even before the controversial commentary, her future was considered limited at NBC News.
“The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” the network said in a statement Friday night.
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.
Charlotte Triggs and Natalie Stone of People report she can go work at a competitor:
An NBC spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Friday, “The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC.”
“The contract will be paid out, about $25-$30 million dollars,” a source with knowledge of the situation tells PEOPLE.
According to the insider, Kelly doesn’t have a non-compete agreement with NBC, but she had to sign a confidentiality agreement featuring the same language in her original employee contract.
“The deal wasn’t signed until the last minute,” the source adds.
Emily Smith of the New York Post reported that Kelly constantly ruffled feathers:
The insider said the hostility towards Kelly continued, with her never being invited to substitute for the “Today” hosts between the 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. hours, and handovers becoming increasingly tense. She was not invited to join the NBC team for the Olympics, substitute on the “Nightly News” or take part in events like the Christmas Tree Lighting.
A second insider added that relations between Kelly and NBC brass went further south in September when she called for an independent legal investigation of the network over its decision to not run Ronan Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein investigation. Farrow took the story to the New Yorker, winning a Pulitzer Prize.
Then in October Kelly further ruffled feathers at NBC by saying in an interview that she didn’t believe former network golden boy Matt Lauer could make a TV comeback because, “I know too much that others don’t know.”
So in Kelly’s exit negotiations, NBC was “super sensitive” about getting her to agree to stay silent. “Look at what she was able to say when she was in the building, imagine what she might want to say when let loose,” the second insider added.