Table of Contents
- ‘I’m sorry’
- NBC probably fired Megyn Kelly for her Matt Lauer coverage
- Megyn Kelly to return to Fox for first TV appearance since being fired by NBC
- Megyn Kelly Show Pulled from NBC Lineup, ‘Today’ Show Hosts to Fill In
- Megyn Kelly seems ready for her TV comeback. That’s controversial.
“Megyn Kelly Today is not returning,” NBC News announced Friday morning, one day after she was yanked off the air, following a defense of blackface Halloween costumes.
“Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors,” the news division said in a statement.
Kelly’s LA-based lawyer Bryan Freedman responded, issuing the statement that “Megyn remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing.”
The news was not a surprise, coming as it did after NBC News’ own Today show reported the division was in talks with her reps about “her imminent departure”:
This morning, NBC News host Megyn Kelly is in talks with the network about her imminent departure, according to a source familiar with the situation. pic.twitter.com/4Ter7kP0LT
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 26, 2018
Just one year into her three-year, $69 million contract with the Comcast-owned network, Kelly shocked NBC News earlier this week with her on-air defense of blackface Halloween costumes.
In a segment about a college trying to crack down on Halloween costumes it deemed offensive, the 47-year-old Kelly wondered why it was not okay to don blackface, claiming, “hen I was a kid it was OK as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
In the fallout, the former Fox News Channel star saw her 9 AM ET show go into repeats on Thursday. Sources told Deadline that the Kelly was heading for the door at NBC with only details to be resolved. Another Megyn Kelly Today repeat aired nationwide on Friday morning.
NBC News chief Andy Lack opened a town hall meeting with staff this week announcing “I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” signaling she would not recover, despite an apology to staff, which was followed by a Thursday morning on-air mea culpa.
That day, NBC News announced Kelly would be off the air the rest of the week “under the circumstances.”
The former Fox News Channel primetime show host had been a bad fit at NBC from the get go. The blackface remark was not her first attack of foot-in mouth; it was, however, the one that ended Lack’s experiment with attracting more fly-over country viewers to the network’s morning franchise with a former Fox News star.
That experiment began going awry her first day hosting Megyn Kelly Today, when she asked a superfan of Will & Grace, whose cast members were her guest that day, “Is it true you became a lawyer, and you became gay, because of Will?”
After the broadcast, W&G star Debra Messing felt compelled to assure fans, “Honestly I didn’t know it was until that morning. The itinerary just said ‘Today Show’ appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”
Eventually, Kelly began having trouble getting A-list guests on her one-hour morning show. She began booking victims of sexual misconduct and assault, as articles by the New York Times and Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker broke details.
The tactic helped the program’s limp ratings and remind viewers that candidate Donald Trump had attacked for her GOP debate question about the vulgar way in which he had described women over the years.
But Kelly also seemed to be setting up a narrative that she might be on the outs at NBC News because of her coverage of the #MeToo movement. She told Us magazine, sphinx-like, that she knew “too much that others don’t know” about Matt Lauer’s continued employment at NBC News, the Today star’s sudden ouster, when asked if might return to air.
And, in what seemed to be a Hail Mary pass to distract people from Kelly’s on-air defense of blackface and try to frame her ouster as another #MeToo moment at NBC News, Kelly’s lawyer reportedly demanded Ronan Farrow attend a meeting between network execs and Kelly reps to discuss her future.
Farrow famously exited NBC News after the division declined to air his report on sexual misconduct/assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. New Yorker published Farrow’s report, for which he won a Pulitzer. NBC News has said the report was not ready to air when it was on their desk.
Freedman has acted as an attorney for Deadline’s parent company PMC in the past.
Twitter quickly lit up. “I cannot believe the ignorance on this in 2018,” wrote the “Top Chef” host, Padma Lakshmi. The comic Patton Oswalt wrote: “You and I are approximately the same age. Blackface was NOT okay when we were kids.”
A post-show meeting of Ms. Kelly’s staff turned emotional, as her colleagues expressed dismay and concern over the host’s remarks. Ms. Kelly, however, was not present to hear it: She had left for a remote shoot outside of Manhattan. And when she sent a written apology that afternoon, the note hit the internet before it landed in some of her colleagues’ inboxes.
“I’ve never been a ‘pc’ kind of person — but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age,” she wrote in her mea culpa, which she hoped would quiet the storm. It didn’t. Three hours later, “NBC Nightly News” dedicated a segment to Ms. Kelly, citing critics who called her comments “racially tone deaf.”
By Wednesday morning, Ms. Kelly’s standing had gone from bad to worse.
The “Today” show devoted nearly five minutes to the “blackface” incident, complete with a clip of Ms. Kelly’s “Santa” moment from Fox News. After a montage of performers wearing blackface, Mr. Roker criticized Ms. Kelly, and his co-host Craig Melvin labeled her comments “racist and ignorant.”
The timing for Ms. Kelly could not have been worse. She was already scheduled to take off the next day — for jury duty. But Ms. Kelly now told producers to expect her at work on Thursday after all. She would postpone her jury service, so that it would not appear that she was ducking the limelight, three of the people said.
Roughly 90 minutes after Mr. Roker and Mr. Melvin spoke, Ms. Kelly opened her 9 a.m. show by saying, “I’m Megyn Kelly and I want to begin with two words — I’m sorry.” Tearing up, the host said she was “listening and learning,” before sitting with two black panelists, Roland Martin and Amy Holmes, who lectured her on the brutally racist history of blackface.
Briefly, it looked like Ms. Kelly may have turned things around. The studio audience gave her a standing ovation. A question-and-answer session after the taping went well. None of the 150 attendees, many of whom were regulars at “Megyn Kelly Today” tapings, criticized the host for her remarks, and several offered support, two of the people said.
Over the past year, morning-show hosts have gotten used to breaking disappointing, even infuriating news about their own colleagues—and sometimes, the process can get emotional. On the first morning of Matt Lauer’s absence from the Today show, for instance, his co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and future replacement Hoda Kotb had a candid, extended discussion about their colleague and friend, who was fired over sexual misconduct allegations. But on Friday morning, Guthrie and her Today colleagues did not express a similar sorrow over Megyn Kelly’s forecasted departure from NBC.
Today’s report was pointedly straightforward, without even a whiff of emotion over Kelly’s exit. Citing “source familiar with the situation,” NBC News reporter Morgan Radford told Guthrie and Craig Melvin that talks about Kelly’s impending exit—and what the network will do about her reported $69 million contract—have already begun. As Variety notes, the Friday report marks the first time that any NBC News property has made any such acknowledgement about Kelly’s departure.
Kelly, who hosts the Today show’s 9 A.M. hour, ignited controversy on Tuesday during a discussion about Halloween costumes, when she told an all-white panel, “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. Back when I was a kid, that was O.K., as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.” Kelly apologized to her colleagues hours later, and to her viewers on-air the next day. But on Thursday, news broke that Megyn Kelly Today is reportedly over, with NBC set to pay out Kelly’s contract as executives meet Friday to discuss her future at the network more broadly. (Representatives for the network did not respond to V.F.’s request for comment at the time.)
Kelly’s NBC tenure has been unimpressive at best, and a total disaster at worst. She’s feuded with guests and generated consistently low ratings—despite reportedly earning twice what former 9 A.M. hosts Al Roker and Tamron Hall took home, combined, when they were hosting the same hour. Her blackface remarks were shocking, perhaps—but not surprising, given Kelly’s documented history of inflammatory remarks with regard to race. Though some have speculated that Kelly has been aiming to get back into Fox News’ good graces after flaming out at NBC, it seems that her former network home has gone on fine without her: a source close to Lachlan Murdoch, C.E.O. of Fox News’ parent company, “New Fox,” told V.F.’s Gabriel Sherman that he is “extremely pleased with the current lineup”—one that does not include Kelly.
NBC probably fired Megyn Kelly for her Matt Lauer coverage
When NBC abruptly reneged on their $69 million, three-year contract with Megyn Kelly after an insensitive but obviously unintentional gaffe about blackface, some — myself included — hypothesized that the overhyped incident was simply a convenient excuse for something else. Nearly a year later, Ronan Farrow’s explosive reporting on the lengths NBC went to shut down his investigation into Harvey Weinstein grants further credence to an unpalatable, sexist, and abhorrent rationale for Kelly’s firing: NBC wanted to silence Kelly’s coverage of their former anchor, Matt Lauer.
In the weeks before the blackface nothingburger, Kelly spent ample amounts of time on her talk show reporting on the numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations plaguing Lauer. Unlike many of her fellow daytime hosts, Kelly had covered the #MeToo beat in scrupulous and, at times, necessarily unsavory detail: conducting explosive interviews with multiple Weinstein victims, and when the Lauer story broke and his termination from NBC came shortly thereafter, Kelly covered it with the same righteous indignation.
On live television, Kelly called on her own employers to allow an external team to investigate the network’s handling of the entire Lauer affair, and she went so far as to interview one of Lauer’s accuser on air.
It’s a massive gamble to criticize the ethics of your own employer on national television, but Kelly rightly made that bet. And NBC fired her for it. We can be more confident thanks to new reporting by Farrow.
NBC has long maintained that they had no knowledge of Lauer’s malfeasance until November of 2017, when the first allegation went public and they promptly terminated him. But Farrow has revealed that Harvey Weinstein dangled the Lauer allegations as leverage to convince NBC to shut down Farrow’s impending expose of Weinstein. NBC ultimately fired Farrow, and the New Yorker published his investigation in October. So NBC had a minimum of one month’s prior knowledge that Lauer had allegedly raped someone, yet they went so far as to fire Farrow to cover it up.
If NBC was willing to fire a reporter for a story that might result in exposing Lauer’s misconduct, then it logically follows that they would fire a reporter covering the Lauer story months later on national television. With Kelly coming from Fox, and given NBC’s clearly broken corporate culture, the knives were out for her upon her arrival. But surely the network knew they had just bought an anchor who prioritizes the truth over popularity. After all, they spent $69 million dollars to acquire her.
NBC just didn’t expect that Kelly would report on them as well.
Lending further credibility to the theory that this got her fired is a separate report from multiple tabloid outlets claiming that Lauer wants to give his first interview following the scandal to none other than Tamron Hall. Hall, whom NBC booted from the Today Show to grant Kelly her hour, made no secret of her schadenfreude felt after Kelly’s termination, and given Lauer’s indignant denial of the allegations and persistent rumors throughout Kelly’s tenure that NBC colleagues wanted Lauer back, the interview report seems fully possible — at least prior to the publication of Farrow’s reporting.
Farrow’s book, Catch and Kill, drops next week. Surely it contains other bombshells about NBC’s cover-up of the Lauer debacle. But so far, Kelly looks better and better.
Megyn Kelly to return to Fox for first TV appearance since being fired by NBC
Megyn Kelly will return to Fox News — for one night only.
Tucker Carlson revealed Monday that he had landed Kelly’s first TV appearance since NBC News fired her for suggesting that black face was not racist on the third hour of its venerable “Today” show franchise.
As he announced his big booking, Carlson noted that NBC News has found itself embroiled in a scandal of its own amid the publication of a book by former staffer Ronan Farrow, which alleges that the network squashed the explosive story about the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that catalyzed the #MeToo movement and covered up sexual misconduct allegations against its former star anchor Matt Lauer. Kelly played an instrumental role in the ouster of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who was accused of sexually harassing a number of employees, herself included.
Kelly’s return to Fox News was unveiled days after one of Fox’s few news anchors, Shepard Smith, cut ties with the network. However, Fox News told Mediaite in a statement that “Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming guest appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight was coordinated weeks ago and is a one-time occurrence. Any future programming changes we are considering do not involve her.”
In “Catch and Kill,” Farrow claims that NBC management not only knew about Lauer’s alleged misconduct but also covered it up. He told “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos on Friday that “there were seven non-disclosure agreements” and “multiple ones of those were with Matt Lauer accusers.” Farrow further claimed that Weinstein knew about the allegations and insinuated that he would reveal it if the accusations against him were published.
Although the network denies both allegations, former NBC News producer Rich McHugh, who worked with Farrow for almost a year on the Weinstein story, backed his colleague’s claims writing in Vanity Fair that the network had “behaved more like members of Weinstein’s PR team than the journalists they claim to be.”
Kelly rose to prominence in some circles after questioning President Donald Trump about his history of misogynistic comments about women during the 2016 elections. Trump claimed to much outrage that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” when she had grilled him.
But not too long after she packed up her office to move across the street 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Kelly quickly courted a big controversy of her own. Her defense of blackface drew attention to previous racist remarks she had made during her tenure with the right-leaning cable network, including describing anti-racism protesters as “thugs” and claiming that both Jesus Christ and Santa Claus were both white. It was also reported that staff members were unhappy with her public statements about Lauer, among them: “I know too much that others don’t know.”
Megyn Kelly Show Pulled from NBC Lineup, ‘Today’ Show Hosts to Fill In
UPDATE: (October 26, 1:42 p.m. ET) An NBC News spokesperson released the following statement:
“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”
Megyn Kelly is out at NBC after a tumultuous week.
In the culmination of a weeklong firestorm following Kelly’s comments about the acceptability of blackface, NBC News has fired Kelly, according to multiple reports but first broken by The Daily Mail. As part of being relieved of her duties as host of “Megyn Kelly Today,” the network will pay out the remainder of her salary, believed to be in the range of $69 million.
On a Tuesday morning segment on “Megyn Kelly Today,” Kelly compared blackface to other non-racially charged costumes, implying that the practice of darkening one’s skin as part of any Halloween outfit wasn’t an inherently racist practice. Kelly issued an email apology later Tuesday morning, followed by an on-air apology on Wednesday’s episode of “Megyn Kelly Today.” Neither of those actions were able to stop a mounting series of pushback against the host, including from planned guests from the Netflix series “House of Cards,” who canceled their appearance.
Kelly’s comments also drew passionate responses from NBC staffers, including longtime “Today” staple Al Roker, who directly addressed the issue on-air yesterday. In that segment, a group of “Today” and NBC employees, also including Morgan Radford, Hoda Kotb, and Craig Melvin, discussed the historical reasons refuting Kelly’s claims that blackface is a harmless practice.
No new episode of “Megyn Kelly Today” aired this morning, amid reports that Kelly would possibly be taking on a new role within NBC News. Last night came reports that CAA had also dropped Kelly as a client.
Kelly came to national prominence as a personality on Fox News, where she hosted the primetime series “The Kelly File” from 2013 to early 2017. “Megyn Kelly Today” had been on the air for just over a year, premiering last September. Page Six and People have also run reports saying that sources within NBC News have confirmed to them that Kelly has been fired.
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Megyn Kelly is out at NBC after making controversial comments about blackface and Halloween costumes during an episode of her morning show Tuesday.
“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” according to an NBC statement. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”
During her 9 a.m. hour of the Today show Tuesday, Kelly claimed that blackface was acceptable in the context of Halloween costumes, saying it was “OK when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.” The backlash was swift and even drew criticism from longtime Today co-host Al Roker, who said, “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is a history going back to the 1830s.”
During her Wednesday show, Kelly tried to make amends, saying, “I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry. I defended the idea , saying that as long it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”
Despite the apology, NBC decided to call of Kelly’s show for the rest of the week, choosing instead to air reruns on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, Kelly dropped her talent agency, CAA, over several issues, including concerns over conflicts of interest stemming from CAA’s representation of other NBC talent and executives. Kelly signed with a different agency, UTA, soon after, and hired entertainment attorney Bryan Freedman.
Per Mediaite, Freedman reportedly demanded that journalist Ronan Farrow be present at the meeting. The request was likely related to Farrow’s recent accusation that NBC News of hindered his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. While NBC chief Andy Lack denied the claim, Kelly covered the dispute on her program and suggested the network hire an “outside investigator” to find out what happened. According to reports, Kelly’s relationship with NBC News began to sour soon after.
For most employable humans on this planet, saying racist things in public would be grounds for immediate termination with no pay. Megyn Kelly isn’t most people.
Almost three months and $69 million later, the disgraced TV host who got suspended for her thoughtless on-air remarks about blackface in late 2018, is no longer an employee of NBC. The dollar amount represents the total Kelly stood to earn from her three-year contract, had she stuck around for all of it.
In other words: NBC bought Kelly out of her contract. Megyn Kelly Today launched in Sept. 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.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes via an unnamed source, Kelly’s contract didn’t even include a non-compete clause that would prevent her from walking right into another job.
Her NBC job has been in limbo since Oct. 2018. At the time, the network pulled her off the air after Kelly defended the use of blackface when it’s part of a Halloween costume. Her remarks prompted an immediate outcry that led to Kelly’s suspension and eventual removal from Today.
(There isn’t any time or occasion in the 21st century that makes blackface OK for white people, to be clear. Not a single one.)
Kelly’s exit from NBC was greeted on social media with a mix of celebration and critical barbs directed at the network. Most seem to agree that she needed to go, but there’s a great deal of puzzlement over the decision to hire her in the first place. Many predicted when the former Fox News pundit was brought in that Kelly’s tenure at NBC would end in disgrace. And hey, here we are.
For Halloween we all should be Megyn Kelly. Just go up to people, say offensive racist things all night and somehow walk away with 69 million pieces of candy. https://t.co/DVJFeX8AaY
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 12, 2019
Hard to overstate what an own-goal this was. NBC hires a privileged Fox conservative with a history of stupid racist comments, and it takes her all of a year and a half to get fired for stupid racist comments. And they still had to pay her $69 million.https://t.co/WTWHhUopEg
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) January 12, 2019
Megyn Kelly got paid more for failing than most other people will ever make for succeeding.
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) January 12, 2019
Everyone with a functional brain knew NBC displayed very poor judgement by hiring “Megyn Kelly”
— R Joseph (@rjoseph7777) January 12, 2019
Megyn Kelly is getting paid the full $69 million for being a horrible human being.
Sounds on par for 2019.
— RiotGrl🥀 (@ErinLea7) January 12, 2019
It’s actually quite impressive how catastrophically NBC’s decision to hire Megyn Kelly has backfired on them: full $69 million spent for half a contract + building a brand new (now abandoned) studio for lower ratings and bad press on its flagship show.https://t.co/SK3gCnQmrn pic.twitter.com/U2JUn1ePPM
— Reed F. Richardson (@reedfrich) January 12, 2019
Sometimes the peanut gallery has a point. Maybe NBC should have read the room a little better back when hiring Kelly was only a possibility.
Megyn Kelly seems ready for her TV comeback. That’s controversial.
During her appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Megyn Kelly hints that she wants to return to TV. (2016 photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) By Sarah EllisonSarah Ellison Reporter covering media and its intersection with politics and technology October 17, 2019
Megyn Kelly seems to be attempting a comeback, and it’s just as controversial as one might expect.
She appeared Wednesday night on her old network, Fox News, as a guest on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” It was, as Carlson pointed out in numerous promotional plugs for her segment, the first television interview Kelly had given since her acrimonious departure from NBC last year.
Kelly used her time on air to test her television muscles again on the cable network that made her famous. Simultaneously amused and outraged, she was far more at home on the prime-time Fox News show than she’d ever been as the host of the third hour of NBC’s “Today.”
In classic Kelly fashion, she has emerged in a moment of peak controversy for the television news business. She seemed to be back to address a variety of personal grievances and to correct the record about her departure — at least implicitly.
Kelly let Carlson say what she could not. Namely, that she was not forced out of NBC because of the company’s objection to her comments questioning why blackface was not an appropriate Halloween costume. Instead, Carlson argued she was forced out because she had reported too aggressively on NBC News’s decision to not air reporter Ronan Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein.
“Just this week, was busted covering up for Harvey Weinstein. Megyn saw all of it,” Carlson told Fox News viewers in his introduction.
Her appearance was a ratings hit and helped draw more than 4 million viewers, making it the No. 1 cable news show for the night, ahead of both Fox News’s “Hannity” and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” The appearance came a day after the publication of Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill,” an account of how Farrow says NBC News killed his investigation into Weinstein. It alleges that the network did so to cover up for the alleged sexual harassment and assault by former “Today” star Matt Lauer. (NBC News has repeatedly denied that it killed the investigation, and says Farrow’s piece did not have women on the record. Lauer denies he had encounters that were not consensual.) Farrow’s investigation eventually ran in the New Yorker magazine and won a Pulitzer Prize.
Farrow’s book provided Kelly a peg to talk about her short time at NBC News. It also gave Carlson and other Fox hosts an opportunity to strike a rival news network — NBC News — and critique “outrage culture” and the hypocrisy of mainstream media.
“As I watched the Ronan story unfold, the one thing I wanted to know is what did they know and when did they know it,” Kelly told Carlson, referring to Lauer’s firing at NBC and its relationship to Farrow’s Weinstein story.
Kelly, whose hour of “Today” struggled to find an audience, got some of her best ratings at NBC while telling stories of sexual harassment, including at her workplace. (She had previously alleged that she was sexually harassed by then-CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, who died in May 2017.)
“I had been reporting on the story even while I was at NBC. I talked to Ronan. I talked to his producer Rich McHugh, I talked to Rose McGowan. I talked to many Harvey Weinstein victims and accusers and was getting to the bottom of what NBC knew while I was there,” she added. “The question is what did they know about Matt Lauer prior to the time the woman came forward who was ultimately his downfall?”
Kelly’s comments open old wounds from a year ago when she and NBC News parted ways in a messy negotiation that involved allegations of racism, sexual harassment and assault, and retaliation.
Kelly left NBC in January and does not have a noncompete agreement with the network, meaning she is free to join another network. She said that she used the past year to spend more time with her family.
Kelly’s appearance on Carlson’s program prompted speculation that she would be returning to Fox News. (2017 photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Gety Images)
In his interview, Carlson discussed how Kelly had previously called for an external investigation to look into her then-employer’s handling of the Harvey Weinstein story.
Carlson noted that MSNBC host Chris Hayes had earlier that week critiqued NBC’s handling of Farrow’s investigation. He asked her whether Hayes should worry about being fired.
“No comment on that,” Kelly responded with a smile. “I will say the question is open as to whether they put dollars ahead of decency. If they were more interested in protecting their star anchor than protecting the women of the company.”
She went on to call — again — for an outside investigation of the network. “They investigated themselves! That doesn’t work,” she said in her trademark staccato. “Fox News had an outside investigator. CBS News had an outside investigator. NPR, the NFL. This is how it’s done.”
NBC, unlike the forenamed institutions, did not hire an external law firm but instead used the well-regarded general counsel at NBCUniversal who was “more than qualified to spearhead” the investigation, said Hilary Smith, a spokeswoman for NBCUniversal. She added that the team conducting the investigation was outside the newsroom.
As for their knowledge of Lauer’s behavior, Smith said, “Matt Lauer was fired within 24 hours of the company learning what he did, and we launched a corporate investigation shortly thereafter.”
Farrow appeared two hours earlier on Fox News in an interview with Bret Baier.
He said in an interview with The Washington Post that his interactions with Kelly were limited at NBC and that “there’s no shying away from the reasons that were given for her departure,” referring to her blackface comments. But Farrow noted that “Megyn Kelly had begun pretty tough and incisive coverage of sexual harassment allegations at NBC, and she had gone on air and publicly called for an independent review not long before her firing. I did hear from multiple sources that those events were not unrelated.”
(The two did not cross paths in the Fox News green room: Farrow was in New York and appeared on air via satellite, while Kelly was in the District.)
“She told the truth,” said McHugh, who was Farrow’s producer for the duration of their Weinstein investigation at NBC. “She challenged NBC executives for stopping our investigation. And I admire her for it,” he added. McHugh recently wrote a corroborating account in Vanity Fair of NBC’s efforts to “stop” the Weinstein investigation.
NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim has aggressively attacked Farrow’s book, calling some of its allegations a “smear” and “conspiracy theory.”
Given the recent departure of Fox News’s chief news anchor Shepard Smith, Kelly’s appearance on Carlson’s show caused many Fox News employees to speculate about her possible return to the network, according to half a dozen current and former Fox News staffers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
Carlson’s booking of Kelly, which was a surprise to Fox News management, spurred the network to issue an unusual statement reassuring staff that there was no risk of Kelly returning to the network. “Megyn Kelly’s . . . appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight was coordinated weeks ago and is a one-time occurrence,” the statement read. “Any future programming changes we are considering do not involve her.”
In addition, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott spent the day speaking to Fox News personalities and their agents to further reassure them that Kelly was not coming back.
But that didn’t stop speculation.
“There is a very specific strategy that is planting very fertile seeds,” said one celebrity publicist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of hurting business opportunities. “It means those seeds are going to grow into something.”
Kelly’s appearance on Fox News followed a series of news items about Kelly’s future.
Earlier this week, she told Page Six that people should not lose sight of “the forces for good in this story,” referring to Farrow’s book. She named Ann Curry, who says she warned executives about Lauer. She also cited Meredith Vieira, whose former assistant Brooke Nevils was the woman whose complaint about Lauer’s alleged assault prompted his firing. When Nevils told Vieira what had happened to her, she urged Nevils to report Lauer.
About the same time, the Hollywood Reporter released a story, citing “sources” who said that Shari Redstone, vice-chair of CBS and Viacom, had plans to launch a conservative streaming news network and had talked to Kelly and other former Fox personalities about possibly joining.
Sara Evans, a spokeswoman for Redstone, denied any intention of launching a conservative news channel or meeting with Kelly about such an idea. Viacom separately issued a denial: “Viacom has no intention of launching a TV news channel, conservative or otherwise.”
Carlson kept Kelly on his show for three full segments, bumping a pretaped interview with Dennis Rodman, because, he said, he and Kelly were having such a good conversation. The two spent some time criticizing the mainstream media in general and NBC News in particular for its handling of sexual assault allegations against Brett M. Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination proceedings.
Carlson asked her whether she had learned anything in her year off the air. She quipped that she hadn’t learned much — she was like Woody Allen that way, a comment that, given the subject of the conversation, seemed like an odd choice.
But then Kelly paused and dove into a moment of sincerity. “What comes to mind is the goodness of humanity, the kindness of strangers,” Kelly said. “Just as awful as the media can be, actual humans are awesome and loving and kind and helpful.”
But her time among “actual humans” might be coming to a close, she said. It sounded a lot as if she was ready to get back to the world of the “awful” media. “I’ll probably get back out there,” she said.
Megyn Kelly is back! Well, sorta.
The former NBC and Fox News host has established her own verified Instagram and YouTube accounts, where she’ll be posting videos.
Kelly’s first post on her new Instagram account is a tease of an interview she wrapped earlier today with the former ABC employee who was fired by CBS News for allegedly leaking a hot mic video of GMA and 20/20 anchor Amy Robach. As we’ve reported throughout the week, in the clip, Robach says she had a story on billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct three years ago, but that the network decided not to air the story.
Kelly says she will break news on the platform later today.
View this post on Instagram
Launching my Instagram with an exclusive interview of the woman just fired after the leak of a hot mic moment by ABC’s @ajrobach. But did ABC News target the right person? ⠀ ⠀ Follow along with me here @MegynKelly, for current stories and my insight in real time.
The launch of Kelly’s Instagram account comes more than a year after NBC News announced that it was ending Megyn Kelly Today after the former Fox News host questioned if blackface was racist during an segment on Halloween costumes. Kelly said when she was growing up, blackface, “was OK as long as you were dressing up as like a character.” Kelly later apologized to her colleagues and audience for the comments.
Kelly and NBC News ultimately parted ways, with Kelly taking home $25-30 million her what was a reported $69 million contract.
Recorded on January 29, 2020
Book Talk starts at 33:30
Our next KAL will be a Poncho Knit Along. Start thinking about what you want to knit or crochet now. We have a Poncho Bundle already! Join the Chatter thread to join in on the fun of planning!! This KAL will run from February 1 to May 1, 2020
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Please post a comment in this thread to be entered to win.
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Barb has finished
1. Mother Bears 193, 194, and 196
2. Bankhead Hat #9 using Caron Cake leftovers
3. 6 Knitted Knockers
4. Multidirectional Scarf #8 using a Caron Cake in the White Truffle colorway
Tracie has finished:
1. Vanilla Socks in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply in the Rum Paradise colorway
2. 5 Knitted Knockers
3. Wurstwarmer by Pamela Wynne in High Fiber Diet in Mermaid Mess and Dizzy Blonde Studios Dizzy Color in Delete
Barb continues to work on
1. Sunnydale Cowl by Katy H. Carroll (Katinka Designs), using Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo in the Anniversario colorway
2. Beech Hill by Leah McGlone, using Berroco Remix in the Strawberry color way
And has cast on
1. Be Kind Hat by Melissa Simpson, using leftover Caron Cake yarn
2. Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf by Karen Baumer using a Caron Cake in the Key Lime colorway
3. Rodeo Drive Poncho, using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted in the Stormy Weather colorway
Tracie continues to work on:
1. The Stripe-on-Stripe Shawl by Fredi Baker in Speakeasy Yarns Shady Lady Gradient in Oasis and Malabrigo Sock in Light of Love
2. Rachel by Josee Paquin in Fyberspates Vivacious 4-Ply in Slate
3. Bellefluer Cardigan in Madelinetosh Silk/Merino in the Mill Pond color way
BOOKS (ratings are out of 5 stars)
1. Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell – 4 stars
2. Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson – 5 stars
1. Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil and Anna Taylor – 2 1/2 stars
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen – 5 stars
3. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen – 4 stars
Barb recommends 2 True Crime podcasts:
1 Catch and Kill podcast with Ronan Farrow
2. Chasing Cosby podcast