Megyn Kelly is expected to wind down her 9 a.m. Today show hour by the end of the season, a source close to Kelly tells The Hollywood Reporter. Sources tell THR that Kelly has met with network executives in recent weeks to discuss the future of the show and expressed a desire to cover more news and politics.
It's unclear what NBC News would put in place of Kelly's show. But the discussions are at least an acknowledgement that the experiment is not working and that Kelly would prefer to be covering more as she did with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Kelly met with NBC News chairman Andy Lack well before the controversy over her blackface comments erupted.
Kelly has grappled with hard news topics — including the #MeToo allegations against a series of powerful men. But her show is in a typically soft daypart. And she has often seemed to chafe at the lighter requirements of the job. And her clumsy comments about blackface on Tuesday's Megyn Kelly Today — for which she apologized — have only exacerbated the situation.
At a town hall with NBC News employees on Wednesday, Lack expressed dismay at Kelly's remarks in which she brushed off the inherent racism of black face during an on-air discussion about Halloween costumes. The backlash was immediate. And the controversy was covered in a segment on the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and also Wednesday morning on the flagship edition of Today.
"There is no other way to put this but I condemn those remarks, there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them. Very unfortunate," Lack said at the town hall.
"I think that Nightly covered the story well last night and appropriately so. I think this morning on the Today show, the team did an excellent job covering it properly. I thought Craig [Melvin] and Al [Roker] brought a thoughtfulness and a context to it that was sorely missing and they really did this company and our audience a real public service. And that is the Today show and Nightly at their very best.
As we go forward, my highest priority remains, and as we sort through this with Megyn, let there be no doubt that this is a workplace in which you need to be proud and in which we respect each other in all the ways we know is foundational to who we are.”
Those close to Kelly say she was disappointed by Lack's forceful condemnation at an internal town hall, given that she had apologized to her staff and viewers.