“Megyn Kelly Today” is “not returning,” NBC says.
“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other ‘TODAY’ co-anchors,” a rep told TheWrap Friday. It remains unclear whether Kelly will remain with the show in some other capacity or with the network at all.
Kelly’s show, which had struggled in the ratings since debuting in September 2017, went into reruns on Thursday two days after the host suggested on air that blackface might be OK on Halloween.
The gaffe prompted broad condemnation — including from her own network. The flagship “NBC Nightly News” dedicated a segment blasting Kelly, while in-house stars like Craig Melvin and Al Roker also criticized their colleague.
Kelly was also condemned by the NAACP.
Kelly rose to prominence at Fox News as an anchor whose tough prosecutorial style won praise from fans and critics alike — and garnered big ratings from the right-leaning network that rivaled No. 1 ratings draw Bill O’Reilly.
Though there were missteps — like when she declared Santa Claus was white — her profile continued to rise, reaching its apex during her feud with Donald Trump after the first debate among Republican presidential contenders in summer 2015.
But Kelly, who left Fox News in 2017 in the midst of upheaval at the network over accusations of sexual harassment by ousted CEO Roger Ailes and others, never seemed like a natural fit for her NBC timeslot on morning TV, where programming veers more toward soft news and lighter features.
She struggled to find her footing in the format, and her efforts at more hard-hitting journalism — including a short-lived primetime interview show that aired in summer 2017 — also failed to capture the public attention.
There had been some notable stumbles at NBC, including a primetime interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and a contentious morning interview questioning Jane Fonda over her plastic surgery.
But Kelly’s defense of white people wearing blackface on Halloween on Tuesday was the final straw. “What is racist?” Kelly asked on Tuesday. “You get in trouble if you’re a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character.”