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Hoda Kotb kicked off the segment by addressing how the show planned to move forward without Megyn Kelly

By Jodi Guglielmi
October 29, 2018 10:54 AM
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The Today show is refreshing its third hour following Megyn Kelly‘s blackface scandal.

Today anchors Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker replaced Kelly in the show’s first 9 a.m. slot since NBC confirmed the disgraced anchor’s hour was canceled last week.

Kotb kicked off the segment by addressing how the show planned to move forward without Kelly.

“Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show as it evolves,” she said. “We want you to know that the entire Today family will continue to bring you informative and important stories, just as we always have.”

Jenna Bush Hager took over the hosting duties after the first 20 minutes and was later joined by Roker and Melvin.

According to Variety, Today anchors, including Savannah Guthrie, will take turns hosting the 9 a.m. hour until NBC finds a permanent solution.

On Friday, NBC announced Kelly’s hour had been canceled amid immense backlash for her controversial remarks about blackface earlier in the week.

Megyn Kelly Today is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other Today co-anchors,” an NBC spokesperson told PEOPLE.

While Megyn Kelly Today is officially done, her future at the network remains unclear. Kelly’s attorney told Variety in a statement: “Megyn remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing.”

Megyn Kelly TODAY - Season 1
Megyn Kelly
| Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Kelly did not appear live on the air Thursday or Friday morning, with NBC announcing the rest of this week’s broadcasts had been replaced with pre-taped episodes.

On Friday, Kelly’s Today show colleagues addressed the possibility of her exit from NBC, with NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford sharing that according to a source familiar with the situation, Kelly entered talks with the network “this morning … about her imminent departure.”

According to NBC News, as of Thursday, conversations had “already started about Megyn’s exit from the network,” according to a source. Another source said that “representatives for Kelly are scheduled to meet on Friday with company executives,” adding that it appears “extremely unlikely” she’ll continue working at NBC.

While discussing attempts at universities to discourage “inappropriate and offensive costumes” on Tuesday, the former Fox News host asked: “But what is racist? Because truly, you 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. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”

Kelly, 47, has since apologized for her comments twice — first in an internal email to colleagues and then on-air as she held back tears.

Her NBC colleagues condemned her harshly on-air. Melvin called her remarks “indefensible” as well as “ignorant and racist,” and Roker insisted she “owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”