Megyn Kelly won’t be bound by any non-compete clauses after leaving NBC News, according to a report from Variety. The former NBC News and Megyn Kelly Today host will be free to take jobs at other news outlets now that she is no longer with the network, suggesting that negotiations between Kelly and NBCUniversal are reaching a conclusion.
Megyn Kelly was forced to leave the network after her third-hour program on The View was canceled when the host was hit by backlash for comments about wearing blackface makeup for Halloween.
“But what is racist? Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” she said on the air in October.
“Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
Within days, Kelly was gone from the show, leaving questions of what would happen with the star’s contract at the network. Since then, negotiations have been ongoing, though Kelly will likely walk away with the $30 million remaining as part of her contract.
According to a source familiar with the talks, money and non-disparagement negotiations have wound up, but there are still minor details that attorneys are hashing out. Experts say that this isn’t unusual.
“When you have a high-profile break-up with an on-air talent, there are things that will hold it up,” said James Sammataro, a lawyer who works in media and entertainment.
With discussions about where she can work now out of the way, some have suggested that the host could return to 21st Century Fox, where she worked prior to moving to NBC. One executive, however, said that wouldn’t be happening.
“I’m very happy with our current lineup on Fox News and we won’t be making any changes there,” said Lachlan Murdoch.
After Kelly left the show, the network toned down the third hour, which was known for Kelly’s fiery interview techniques, bringing in familiar anchors like Al Roker and Hoda Kotb.
NBC News recently announced, according to Variety, that it would be changing the format of The View to make the third hour, which Kelly hosted, to look more like the first two hours. According to sources, the third hour now will be filmed in Studio 1A, where the other two hours are filmed. It will also utilize a smaller in-studio crowd instead of the large studio audience that Kelly had.