Megyn Kelly will no longer host NBC's 'Today' show: report

Megyn Kelly will no longer host the 9 a.m. ET hour of the "Today" show at NBC News, according to a Thursday night CNN report.

The stunning news comes less than two years after signing for a reported three year, $69 million contract.

Several other outlets, including The Daily Mail, NPR and People magazine, are also reporting Kelly is exiting NBC, but those reports could not be verified by The Hill.

The news comes just two days after Kelly started a firestorm on Tuesday with a panel segment on her show, "Megyn Kelly Today," regarding Halloween costumes.

The host said dressing up in blackface was considered OK when she was growing up “as long as you were dressing like a character.”

“You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” Kelly said during the segment. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”


Kelly went on to point out that “Real Housewives” reality star Luann de Lesseps once dressed up as singer Diana Ross because de Lesseps wanted to “look like Diana Ross for one day.”

“People said that was racist and I don’t know, I felt like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross?” Kelly said on Tuesday. “She wanted to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”

NBC reporter and guest panelist Jacob Soboroff responded that he hadn't seen de Lesseps's costume of Ross but said, "it sounds a little racist to me.”

Kelly's comments were slammed by critics both inside and outside NBC News and MSNBC.

On "NBC Nightly News" on Tuesday evening, anchor Lester Holt addressed the Kelly issue. The next day, "Today" did another story on Kelly's comments, as did MSNBC, which included anchor Craig Melvin calling Kelly's comments "indefensible."

Kelly apologized for the comment on Tuesday in a letter to NBC staff. But longtime "Today" meteorologist Al Roker said the apology wasn't good enough.

“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the county,” he said. “This is a history, going back to the 1830s minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through Amos ‘n’ Andy where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is. … No good comes from it. It’s just not right.”

Kelly went on to make an emotional apology on air during her Wednesday program.

“I want to begin with two words, I'm sorry,” she began. “The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense. I believe this is a time for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor.”

“Thank you for listening and for helping me listen too,” Kelly concluded to a standing ovation from the live in-studio audience.

NBC News president Andy Lack, who was responsible for hiring Kelly and touting her work at Fox News as "a serious journalist" when first bringing her on board, also condemned Kelly's remarks during a staff-only town hall meeting at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

“There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” Lack told staff at the town hall on Wednesday afternoon.

Several media outlets also reported Wednesday that Kelly has parted ways with her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, reportedly opting for United Talent Agency instead.

Kelly got her start in broadcast journalism after leaving her job as an attorney in 2003.

After less than a year of working as a reporter on local television for an ABC affiliate in the Washington, D.C., area, she was hired by Roger Ailes, the late and former chairman and CEO of Fox News.

When Kelly left Fox News in early 2017, she was the highest-rated female host in cable news and second-highest rated overall.

The Hill has reached out to Kelly and NBC News for comment.