Megyn Kelly was being touted as the next big host on cable news a couple of years ago. Kelly, who had developed a reputation for her combative style of journalism with Fox, saw her popularity surge drastically during the 2016 presidential race. Her acrimonious relationship with Trump aided her reputation, making her one of the very few Western journalists to interview Russian president Vladimir Putin in Russia. Her decision to join NBC had come amidst a lot of fanfare and expectations from the network, but less than two years into their relationship, Kelly has now exited the network, according to CNN.
“The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” the network said in a statement Friday night.
The “differences” being referred to in the statement had been brewing for a while last year after Kelly’s morning talk show failed to garner the kind of viewership NBC executives had hoped for, but it came to a boiling point when Kelly suggested that it was okay for Halloween costumes to incorporate blackface. It was a position that didn’t sit particularly well with the network’s upper brass due to its racist overtones, and her show was canceled within days. Since then, Kelly’s lawyer and NBC had been trying to negotiate the terms of her departure.
Kelly signed for the network for a whopping sum of $69 million to be paid during a three-year contract period. According to the terms negotiated by her lawyer, she will receive every cent of it despite her exit. It has been reported that nearly $30 million was still left to be paid to Kelly over the next year, but she will now receive that money anyway.
According to CNN, Kelly is subject to a nondisparagement clause which is standard in the cable news industry. It shields NBC from any negative comments from her time at the network from Kelly and vice-versa. The terms also don’t have a “noncompete” clause, which means Kelly could accept an offer from another network right away.
However, it doesn’t mean Kelly would join another network immediately — especially as she is known to have no agent at the moment. It didn’t stop Kelly from promising celebrity photographers in New York recently that we could expect her to be back on TV this year.
“You will definitely see me back on,” she said.
After Kelly’s long relationship with Fox News, her brief stint with NBC might soon be forgotten in terms of her overall career trajectory, but there is little doubt that she would be more than happy to take home the entire bounty she was promised.