In the latest Megyn Kelly news, the former Fox News journalist, who sparred frequently with Donald Trump, is reportedly close to finalizing contract details with NBC. Insiders say Today show officials are creating a standalone segment for Megyn Kelly in a slot once eyed for Billy Bush.
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 27, 2017
According to a Variety report, NBC officials plan to debut a show featuring the former Fox News anchor. NBC wants to launch a show that features Megyn in a one-hour program, possibly within the Today Show programming segment.
An unnamed source says executives want to leverage Kelly’s training as an attorney and her feisty no-holds-barred style of getting at the heart of her guests. While final details are being worked out, Megyn Kelly will join NBC News in some capacity in May.
Kelly parted company with Fox early this month when she said goodbye to viewers on her final episode of The Kelly File. Her departure had been rumored over a span of months, and speculation grew over whether she was ousted or left on her own volition. Then, attention turned to where her career would take her next.
Without formal comment from officials on what form Kelly’s show will take, sources are left to further speculate on the options — and several have emerged as theories.
Megyn Kelly Likely to Take Over 'Today' Show Hour this Fall https://t.co/8FclnB3Lnx
— Sunscreen Film Fest (@SunscreenFF) January 27, 2017
Based on Inquisitr‘s previous reporting, one possibility is that Megyn Kelly could replace Today’s Matt Lauer as the new face of the daytime show.
“An industry insider told Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison that Megyn Kelly’s recent announcement about her upcoming transition to NBC from Fox News is ‘all about replacing Matt Lauer in a couple of years.’ According to this insider, NBC is keen to ‘protect the Today show’ and will work to ‘build the Today show around [Kelly]’ so that she can take over the hosting role after Matt Lauer leaves.”
It’s unclear if Vanity Fair’s source is entirely clear about the scope of NBC’s plans. However, Variety’s reporting makes no mention of Lauer.
The addition of Kelly to the lineup suggests that NBC is serious about competing with its peers for the bevy of viewers that tune into morning shows.
Insiders say early plans were to use former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush to bolster ratings during the 9 a.m. slot. However, plans were scrapped when a ruinous tape emerged of Bush and Donald Trump talking off the record while a mic was hot. The salacious 2005 “grab them by the p***y” footage resulted in Bush’s ouster and scrapped plans to import him.
Execs are hoping to launch a formidable attack on ABC and take advantage of its recent shakeup. Last year, Disney’s Live, now hosted solo by Kelly Ripa, underwent controversy when rumors emerged that Kelly’s former co-host, Michael Strahan, was jumping ship to Good Morning America. Reportedly, Kelly was blindsided by the move and rumors emerged of a rift between the two.
NBC is possibly targeting a 9 or 10 a.m. slot for Kelly, but it will require some staff to move around, as the source indicated.
For example, if Kelly took over a 10 a.m. timeslot, co-hosts, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, would transition to the earlier slot. If officials settle on a 9 a.m. slot for Megyn, that means, Today Show personalities Tamron Hall and Al Roker would “continue with other duties they have with NBC News. Roker has been an integral part of ‘Today’ for years, while Hall anchors a show on MSNBC and appears frequently in other parts of ‘Today.'”
Another earlier option that was scrapped early on was to create a syndicated Megyn Kelly talk show. However, it soon became apparent that daytime syndication is difficult to launch, given the current trend towards two-person household workers. Shows with A-listers like Meredith Vieira, Anderson Cooper, and Katie Couric, all faltered.
Megyn Kelly to replace Al Roker and Tamron Hall on the TODAY SHOW. I'll just let the optics on that soak in for ye. pic.twitter.com/BPlmJ3QTLq
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) January 27, 2017
Update: According to a late Friday Los Angeles Times report, NBC has finalized plans to get rid of its third Today show hour and include Megyn Kelly in an hour-long segment. It’s unclear about the fates of other personalities and their staff, but sources say longtime co-hosts Al Roker and Tamron Hall are being replaced by incoming Megyn Kelly.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]