Is it all over for Megyn Kelly Today?
The troubled star will not be hosting her morning show on NBC this morning or tomorrow, and is ‘unlikely to return’ to the role, two sources have told CNN Business.
Kelly appeared to have run out of road after extraordinarily ill-considered remarks in which she defended blackface as a Halloween costume.
Kelly said on her show on Tuesday: “Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character,” and questioned why people who dress in blackface “get into trouble.”
Her remarks may be about to bring the curtain down on a troubled tenure at NBC’s pivotal breakfast show.
A fulsome apology for her idiocy, and a panel discussion of it on Wednesday failed to quell the resulting outrage, and The Daily Beast revealed last night that Kelly was left without an agent after agency UTA declined to pick her up when she was dramatically ditched by CAA.
Page Six reports that plans to kick Kelly off her 9am hour were already well advanced before this latest scandal broke, with multiple sources saying NBC planned to pull the plug on Megyn Kelly Today by year’s end.
With the canning of her show now apparently imminent, rumors are swirling that she will jump ship from the Peacock network altogether.
Sources at “multiple networks” told DailyMail.com that members of Kelly’s former team at CAA had been ringing around other broadcasters trying to find a new home for her, but enthusiasm to hire scandal-hit Kelly appeared minimal, with one executive at ABC saying: “We wouldn't hire her in a million years. She's toxic and her personal brand is finished.”
Kelly's publicist denied the reports as “absolutely false.”
An NBC executive told DailyMail.com: “That hour used to be a ratings hit with Al Roker and Tamron Hall and it was relatively inexpensive to produce. Now viewers get to witness the greatest example of white privilege on television. She defended blackface. I mean how is this acceptable in any way? She needs to go.”
Kelly has also been haunted by comments from 2013, in which she stated on Fox News that both Santa and Jesus are white.
Kelly is halfway through a three-year contract, at $20 million a year, which has been dogged by controversy and disappointing ratings.
She was criticized from the get-go for giving a platform to Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who produced embarrassing tapes of Kelly flattering him as she sought to land the interview.
There is mounting speculation that NBC may now use the blackface controversy to ditch Kelly altogether, with NBC News boss Andy Lack, who spearheaded Kelly's hiring and championed her 9 a.m. show, condemning Kelly at an in-house town hall meeting yesterday.
“There is no other way to put this, but I condemn those remarks,” he told staffers.
Kelly has made multiple internal enemies since she started at NBC 18 months ago.
She’s criticized the company extensively, calling for an outside investigation into the network’s axing of Ronan Farrow’s exposé on Harvey Weinstein, and booking a former Today staffer who allegedly had an affair with Matt Lauer.
There were suspicions earlier this month that Kelly was looking to reposition herself as a more Conservative voice when she fired off an incendiary series of tweets in which she trashed Julie Swetnick’s claims of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh, and derided Swetnick for having not made a detailed, written contemporaneous account of Kavanaugh’s alleged abuse, as she said she did when harassed by Fox News boss Roger Ailes.
The tirade immediately sparked speculation that Kelly was eyeing a move back to a more conservative home like Fox News.
Maybe that will come sooner rather than later.