Megyn Kelly had a disastrous start to her tenure on the Today show that led to rumors she could be fired, but now the former Fox News host is considered a frontrunner to replace the recently fired Matt Lauer.
Lauer was abruptly fired on Wednesday after allegations of sexual misconduct by an unnamed colleague. In the hours since the shocking announcement, other reports have indicated that other women came forward to accuse Lauer of inappropriate behavior.
The situation has left the Today show in disarray and led to rumors about who could be replacing Matt Lauer as the show’s lead anchor. While there are some reports that Ann Curry could return, others have focused on newcomer Megyn Kelly taking on a larger role.
As Fortune noted, it would seem that NBC may want to move Kelly into a larger role given the huge investment they made to bring her over to the network.
“Earlier this year, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly signed a huge contract with NBC that pays her an estimated $18 million per year, which would make her the highest-paid on-air talent at NBC News now that Lauer is gone. It would make sense for NBC to install such a high-profile (and highly-compensated) as Lauer’s replacement, though it is definitely worth noting that Kelly’s transition to morning TV at NBC has been anything but smooth.”
That could be an understatement. Kelly’s first few weeks were so disastrous that there were rumors she could already be in danger of being fired from the Today show. Her first week was marked by a series of bumbled interviews and on-air gaffes, including a cameraman walking into a shot and letting out an expletive.
Just a few days into Kelly’s tenure, the New York Post reported about an internal poll circulating among broadcast insiders showing that Kelly registered a “dislike” score of 45 among viewers. To give some meaning to that number, Matt Lauer scored only a 22 on that same just after Ann Curry was fired from the show, with blame falling mostly on Lauer for her ouster.
But Megyn Kelly has recovered from the difficult start, and reportedly had the backing of NBC executives and her Today show co-workers even as she struggled to get her eponymous Megyn Kelly Today hour off the ground.
Though the rumors about who could replace Matt Lauer on the Today show are growing by the hour, there is no indication yet of what NBC intends to do or what the future could hold for Megyn Kelly.