Various reports previously pegged Megyn Kelly's salary after jumping from the Fox News Channel to NBC News at $17 million per year.
She may be making more than that, however, and at a dollar amount which some NBC insiders reportedly maintain is "obscene" and disrespectful to longtime Today personalities such as Matt Lauer and others.
The 9 a.m. Eastern time hour of the NBC Today Show franchise with Megyn Kelly at the helm is now two weeks old, and has been met with underwhelming reviews, drawing comparisons to the Bride of Frankenstein. Several well-publicized awkward moments with celebrities haven't helped matters.
Despite a promotional push, ratings for Megyn Kelly Today have declined since its first episode during which the 12-year FNC anchor noted that she is "done with politics for now." In week one, the show averaged 2.5 million viewers, starting the week at 2.9 million and finishing with 2.3 million. Live with Kelly and Ryan, syndicated by ABC at 9 a.m. in many markets, "beat Megyn Kelly Today by 21 percent in households last week," the New York Times reported.
Showbiz411 reported that through the first week, Megyn's show was down 12 percent from when the time slot was presided over by Tamron Hall and Al Roker, and 24 percent in the advertiser-coveted age 25-to-54 demographic. It is also providing a weaker lead-in for Kathie Lee and Hoda, who take over at 10 a.m.
According to what network insiders supposedly told the Daily Mail, Megyn Kelly is actually banking $23 million a year pursuant to a three-year contract, and that with production and staff costs included, the overall price tag to put Megyn Kelly Today on the air is $100 million. Matt Lauer, an NBC employee for two decades, reportedly earns $25 million annually. Fox News allegedly offered Megyn Kelly a four-year, $100 million deal, with lots of time off, to remain as host of The Kelly File.
An outraged unnamed NBC executive had this to say about the contents of Megyn's current pay envelope.
"This is insane! How on earth can they justify paying her $69 million for three years? It's obscene and a giant slap in the face to all of NBC's established stars."Another insider claimed about the big bucks the former corporate lawyer is taking home that "Megyn's salary should be nowhere near Matt's. He's been at NBC for 23 years now and has captained the ship through good times and bad times. He's worked very hard to deserve that salary."
The Daily Mail added that Megyn Kelly Today ratings have continued their downward trend. On Wednesday, October 4, "Kelly's show had an incredibly shocking viewership, a 1.5 overall rating and a 0.08 rating among women 25 to 54."
As the Inquisitr has previously outlined, Megyn Kelly's attempt to reinvent herself from prime-time news anchor to daytime diva focusing on lifestyle and entertainment is a challenge because she seems to lack a solid fan base or a constituency. For example, those Fox News viewers disillusioned with her over all the anti-Trump content on The Kelly File during the election season seem unlikely to follow her to NBC. On the other side of the coin, more liberal NBC viewers could be reluctant to welcome Megyn Kelly into their living rooms because of her FNC resume. Or, as an Inquisitr commenter previously observed about a perceived crossover-appeal or lack thereof, "The left hates her and the right has disowned her."
Over the summer, there were reports that NBC executives were in total panic over how Megyn Kelly Today might fare, particularly given that her Sunday night news magazine was pulled after just eight episodes, apparently for lackluster ratings.
[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]