For anyone who thought Megyn Kelly was a little overpaid on her previously reported salary of $17 million, get ready to swallow a bitter pill.
It is now being reported that Kelly, 46, is actually making a cool $23 million per year for her new NBC morning show—and has been given a three-year contract at that level of pay.
According to a report by DailyMailTV, NBC executives not involved in the hiring of the former Fox News host have said that her salary is “obscene” and a “slap in the face” to other NBC veteran stars
If the $23 million figure is correct, it means that Kelly’s remuneration package is bested only by Matt Lauer, who has been at NBC for 23 years, and has an estimated salary of $25 million.
Jimmy Fallon, who hosts NBC’s flagship late-night show, earns around $15 million.
One high-ranking insider told DailyMailTV: “How on earth can they justify paying her $69 million for three years?”
Kelly’s show, which launched last week, has been widely panned.
Mother Jones called it “cringeworthy.” The Los Angeles Times’ Stephen Battaglio called it “awkward.” NPR’s David Folkenflik delivered a more generous assessment, noting Kelly’s history as a Fox News host makes it tough for critics to accept her new role, that it’s possible for her to become a morning show host.
The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon described her interview with Debra Messing as marked by “the plastic enthusiasm of someone who had not seen a minute of Will & Grace until her assistant showed her the J. Lo clip on her iPad in the green room before the cast came out.”
At the end of the segment, Kelly told a gay Will & Grace superfan, “I don’t know about the lawyer thing, but I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!”
Debra Messing subsequently took to Instagram to say she regretted doing the interview, and hinted that she never would have agreed to it had she known it was Kelly who would be conducting it.
On Wednesday last week, Kelly asked Jane Fonda about her plastic-surgery history.
Fonda replied: “We’re really going to talk about that now?”
A source told DailyMailTV: “What’s most annoying is that Megyn’s team and NBC proactively leaked that her salary sat in the range of $12-$17 million when they knew this wasn’t the case.”
A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment, saying the network doesn’t comment on salaries.