Megyn Kelly is negotiating her exit from NBC after less than two years, the network confirmed Friday morning on “Today.”
“This morning, NBC News host Megyn Kelly is in talks with the network about her imminent departure,” Morgan Radford said during the news segment, citing a person familiar with the situation.
Meanwhile, the embattled host, who offended viewers and colleagues when she excusing the use of blackface Halloween costumes Tuesday, got a show of support from her colleagues at Fox News. However, the network itself indicated it’s unlikely to take back the woman who was once the star of its primetime lineup.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean defended the “Megyn Kelly Today” host and longtime friend against accusations of racism.
“My friend @megynkelly is not a racist,” Dean wrote. “Those close to her know her heart. She’s a good person, a wonderful mom, wife, sister, friend and human being. She didn’t deserve this.”
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Meanwhile, Geraldo Rivera, a correspondent for Fox News, noted he’s long had a close relationship with Kelly and while he was appalled by her comments, he believes she was unfairly skewered for her misstep.
“You know, Megyn was my colleague, and a dear friend … I was very disappointed when she left Fox News,” he told Us Weekly in a video interview. “She had a rocky road at NBC. What she said about blackface was grotesque. It was indefensible in many ways, but you know, people make mistakes.
“She said something stupid, but she didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, she was just telling the truth about how she was raised and how things were back in the day. I think she was really given the short end of the stick and I think she was scapegoated.”
While Kelly may have the support of some of her former coworkers, the same can’t be said for the network she used to call home. When reached for comment regarding whether Fox News would consider bringing Kelly back on the air, the network told USA TODAY there isn’t room for Kelly right now in the conservative news channel’s prime-time lineup, which now features Tucker Carlson at 8 EDT, Sean Hannity at 9 and Laura Ingraham at 10.
“We are extremely happy with our entire line-up,” a spokesperson for Fox News stated.
Meanwhile, her hour of the “Today” show hangs in the balance. On Thursday and Friday, reruns of “Megyn Kelly Today” aired in place of live episodes.
In January 2017, Kelly exited Fox News after more than a decade and announced she was headed to NBC, where she signed a contract estimated to be worth $20 million per year. After a showcase first interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in which he claimed that Jews, Ukrainians and Tatars (groups oppressed by the Soviet Union and Russia) may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election instead of his government, she came under fire for a proposed interview with “InfoWars” host Alex Jones.
On Sept. 25 of that year, she debuted in the 9 a.m. hour, traditionally a soft-news time period, thought to be an odd fit for the adversarial former corporate defense attorney who made her name at Fox News discussing politics in prime time.
During her time on “Today,” Kelly has caused controversy several times. She angered Jane Fonda when she asked the veteran actress to discuss plastic surgery and she offended Debra Messing with her comments that seemed to imply being gay is a choice.
[H/T USA TODAY]