While Megyn Kelly may be collecting a hefty severance package after her on-air comments defending blackface got her fired, it is now being reported that her staff will be left unemployed without the same safety net.
According to PageSix.com, the embattled anchor is “close to finalizing a $30 million exit from NBC,” after heated negotiations saw Kelly’s lawyers pushing NBC to pay her the entire salary of her contract rather than face a fight in court.
But according to a source at NBC, the new program replacing Kelly’s failed Today show will have its own set and technical staff – so while full-time NBC employees will be keeping their jobs, many of the technical freelancers who have been brought on will be out of a gig as of January 4th.
Back in October, Kelly sparked backlash after she questioned whether the use of blackface on Halloween was really racist or not.
“Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as like a character,” Kelly told her mortified panelists Jenna Bush Hager, Jacob Soboroff and Melissa Rivers.
After being dragged on the internet all day, Kelly apologized in a statement saying, “I’ve never been a ‘pc’ kind of person—but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year.”
But some of her black NBC colleagues made it clear that they didn’t believe her apology was sincere, particularly Lester Holt and Al Roker.
Soon thereafter, an NBC executive allegedly told the Daily Mail, “Megyn Kelly is done. She is never coming back. We are just working out timing of the announcement but mark my word – she is gone and will never be seen on NBC live again.”
But now NBC staffers feel bad that their former colleagues are out of work due to Kelly’s actions, and as a result are reportedly trying to find roles for the freelancers at the network.
— Page Six (@PageSix) December 4, 2018
A unnamed source also told Page Six that the settlement with NBC is, “taking slightly longer than expected, it’s not just about the money — it’s about the terms.”
“NBC decided rather than fight and face a lawsuit from her, they — and more importantly, Comcast with all its money — decided to draw a line under the entire debacle and pay Megyn the full amount owed in her contract to go away.”
Kelly’s days at NBC came to an end just a year after she left Fox News and received a $69 million deal to join the network, but the unidentified industry insider was quick to point out that she’ll probably be returning to her conservative roots once the next presidential election race begins.
“This is far from the end of her TV career,” the person said. “In the Trump era, there are few broadcasters like her. Megyn would likely take a short break from TV and return to cable news ahead of the 2020 election.”