NBC announced Friday night that it has reached a final exit agreement (see: payout) with Kelly, whose departure was prompted when she questioned on air whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is actually racist. Kelly was in the second of a three-year contract that reportedly paid her more than $20 million USA a year.
Kelly was midway through a lucrative contract that paid her US$69 million over three years - an eye-popping sum even in the context of U.S. television news.
NBC has yet to make an official announcement on who will replace Kelly on Today's third hour, but meteorologist Dylan Dreyer teased the decision on Twitter earlier this month.
"The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC", a network spokesperson told THR. "She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don't know how that got racist on Halloween".
While at Fox, her accusations of unwanted sexual advances by the network's late chief executive, Roger Ailes, helped lead to his firing. Megyn Kelly Today launched in September 2017, so she didn't even make it halfway through her three-year commitment before the network decided it was wiser to just fork over $69 million and show her the door immediately. Her daily morning show, "Megyn Kelly Today", suffered low ratings, and her assertive style at times seemed out of place in the anodyne environment of morning television.
But when those stories began to fade, Kelly had trouble attracting an audience in the soft-focus world of morning television. She hosted a daytime talk show, started a Sunday night news show and was to be featured in regular political coverage on the network's news programs.
"Hope you don't mind these faces!" she wrote alongside a smiling selfie with Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones and Craig Melvin.
Critics accused her of ignoring the ugly history of minstrel shows and movies in which whites applied blackface to mock blacks.