Megyn Kelly Finalizes Exit from Today Show, to Receive 'Roughly $30 Million': Sources
Her exit comes nearly three months after NBC confirmed that her 9 a.m. Today show hour was canceled
Megyn Kelly‘s time at NBC has officially come to an end.
Nearly three months after the peacock network announced that Megyn Kelly Today would not be returning to airwaves, the television anchor — she left Fox for NBC in January 2017 and signed a three-year, $23 million-a-year contract — has finalized her exit.
An NBC spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Friday, “The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC.”
“The contract will be paid out, about $25-$30 million dollars,” a source with knowledge of the situation tells PEOPLE.
According to the insider, Kelly doesn’t have a non-compete agreement with NBC, but she had to sign a confidentiality agreement featuring the same language in her original employee contract.
“The deal wasn’t signed until the last minute,” the source adds.
A second source says that Kelly, 48, is “the one who has been holding off on signing. She was holding out because she didn’t like the NDA. There’s an NDA. Its’ standard. But she didn’t want to sign it. They’re very, very common. And she’s getting paid a lot. It’s the rest of the contract — roughly $30 million.”
As for her replacements?
On Oct. 26, NBC confirmed reports that Kelly’s 9 a.m. Today show hour was canceled amid immense backlash for her controversial remarks about blackface.
“Megyn Kelly Today is not returning,” an NBC spokesperson told PEOPLE as Today anchors Melvin, Hoda Kotb and Roker replaced Kelly in her former time slot.
Though Kelly’s show was officially done, her future at the network remained unclear. Following NBC’s announcement about the show, Kelly’s attorney told Variety in a statement: “Megyn remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing.”
Her departure was announced after her on-camera comments about attempts by universities to discourage “inappropriate and offensive costumes,” asking a panel of guests: “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.”
“I defended the idea, saying as long as it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, it seemed okay. Well I am wrong and I am sorry,” she said.
“One of the great parts of sitting in this chair each day is getting to discuss different points of view. Sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen. And yesterday I learned,” Kelly continued. “I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country it is not okay for that to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise.”
She added: “I have never been a PC kind of person. But I do understand the value in being sensitive to our history, particularly on race and ethnicity. This past year has been painful for many people of color. 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. I want to be part of that. Thank you for listening and for helping me listen too.”
The outcry on social media was swift following the segment. NBC anchors condemned her harshly on-air as 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.”
According to NBC News, conversations had “already started about Megyn’s exit from the network” that week, according to a source. Another source told the network that “representatives for Kelly are scheduled to meet on Friday with company executives,” adding that it appeared “extremely unlikely” she’ll continue working at NBC following her departure from Today.
Now that her exit has been finalized, Kelly is ready to move on — and work again.
“She’s looking forward to her next chapter,” a friend of Kelly tells PEOPLE. “She was an employee of NBC, so she wasn’t exploring other career opportunities yet. She was skiing with her family over the holidays and looked really happy.”
“She’s expected to be back in action soon. She will work again,” says the friend, who reveals that Kelly will do an interview with Dr. Phil later this month. “He’s her friend.”