As NBC and Megyn Kelly remain locked in negotiations regarding her future, the network has been removing any signs of the host’s involvement in their news coverage in the wake of Kelly’s controversial comments regarding blackface, according to reports from Page Six.
A source revealed to Page Six that since she was originally hired, NBC had plans for Kelly to be heavily featured in their coverage of the midterm elections, which will kick off on Tuesday night, with the network even sending out a press release prior to her removal advertising Kelly’s involvement in the evening’s proceedings, alongside the network’s political heavyweights Lester Holt of the network’s Nightly News, Today host Savannah Guthrie, and Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd.
Kelly’s lack of involvement was confirmed on Monday, when NBC released a video promotion for “The Vote: America’s Future” special live broadcast including only Holt, Guthrie, and Todd.
While NBC provided no comment, the source did reveal to Page Six that Kelly was “not going to be part of election-night coverage.”
The source went on to say that Kelly and NBC are currently locked in “exit negotiations.”
For Kelly, her lack of an inclusion in Tuesday’s election coverage is just another disappointment in a role that originally appeared to have massive potential.
The cracks in the relationship began to reveal themselves several months ago when Kelly’s tanking ratings during her hour on the Today show had led to NBC to reimagine her role with the network. The solution appeared to come in a shift to Kelly’s more familiar wheelhouse of politics, redefining her role to something more similar to what she was doing at Fox News in an effort to get a return on investment from the three-year, $69 million contract that she signed with the network.
Based on reports from the Hollywood Reporter, Kelly and NBC had previous conversations about the direction of her role at the network, with Kelly herself unhappy about the focus on lighter stories during her time on Today. According to the report, Kelly “met with network executives” to discuss bringing her morning show to an end and “expressed a desire to cover more news and politics.”
The show officially came to an end, not by mutual consent, but through Kelly’s bizarre remarks defending the use of blackface during a discussion regarding Halloween costumes.
Kelly did offer an apology for her remarks in the following episode of her NBC show, but within 48 hours she was removed from the network.