Megyn Kelly’s new daytime show on NBC is expected to replace Today’s 9 a.m. hour, sources said Wednesday.
NBC News declined to comment. A network source said that timing on everything involving Kelly is still up in the air, including when she will join NBC News and when her new shows will debut. Speaking Tuesday evening on her Fox News Channel show, The Kelly File, Kelly said her last show would air Friday. Her contract with Fox News runs through July though, so she may not be able to officially join NBC News until that contract expires.
Besides hosting her own daytime program, Kelly also will anchor a Sunday night news magazine and jump in on breaking news and political stories.
The 9 a.m. hour of Today has been a trouble spot for NBC. It tries to be a take on the panel talk show, with Al Roker and Tamron Hall leading a discussion of pop culture and light news with multiple hosts. Last August, the hour suffered a further setback when Today brought on Billy Bush to lead the hour, and soon Bush and Roker were clashing on air about Bush’s kid-gloves interview of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. Bush was then fired in October after video leaked of him and now-President-elect Donald Trump speaking lewdly about women.
The 9 a.m. hour straddles the more highly rated 7-9 a.m. block, anchored by Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, and the more fun and fluffy 10 a.m. hour hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. The new show will not fall under the Today banner but will instead be Kelly-branded, the sources said.
“After more than a dozen years at Fox News, I have decided to pursue a new challenge …. I’ll be leaving Fox News at the week’s end and starting a new adventure, joining the journalists at NBC News, who I deeply admire,” said Kelly on her show.
Kelly and her husband, novelist Doug Brunt, have three children 7,5 and 3, that she wants to spend more time with. The new job at NBC should allow her to be home for dinner most nights, as opposed to heading off to work at about the time her kids come home.
Kelly’s salary at NBC is not known, but it’s expected to be in the $15 to $20 million range, considering what she was making at Fox News. On Wednesday, Mediaite reported that 21st Century Fox offered Kelly a $100 million package to remain, but she ultimately turned it down.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.