Sources inside NBC News disputed the notion that the 9 a.m. hour would be “canceled” to make room for Kelly.
Plans for Megyn Kelly’s NBC program are beginning to take shape. As previously reported, Kelly is expected to take over the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show in the fall. Though there is a chance she could also take the 10 a.m. hour; if that happens, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford will move to 9 a.m.
Kelly left Fox News on Jan. 6 after signing a deal with NBC News that includes a daytime show, a Sunday evening news magazine and a presence on NBC’s event and breaking news coverage. Her exit agreement with Fox News is being finalized, say sources. And she is expected to officially start at NBC News in May. Whether she is part of the network’s news coverage right away remains to be seen. It’s unclear when her Sunday evening program will begin, but some industry observers predict it would not be until after the 2017 season of NBC’s Sunday Night Football wraps early next year.
The staff at the 9 a.m. hour, which is hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall, was told Friday morning about the plans. Roker will maintain his role on the flagship 7-9 a.m. block co-anchored by Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. Hall’s deal is up in February. But sources at NBC News say there is a desire to keep her at the company and also in the Today show family. She currently anchors an afternoon block on MSNBC and also is among the anchors to fill in on earlier hours of Today.
Sources inside NBC News disputed the notion that the 9 a.m. hour would be “canceled” to make room for Kelly. Though plans are far from finalized, it’s much more likely that Kelly’s program would maintain the Today show branding.
On Thursday Roker tweeted a pointed congratulations to the “9am producers for producing the #1 morning show 7 weeks in a row!!” Today is beating Kelly Ripa’s Live in the demo for the past several weeks, but both shows are down.
Kelly, 46, passed up a massive four-year, $100 million deal from executives at Fox News parent 21st Century Fox to stay at the network, where she hosted the 9 p.m. hour, which was regularly Fox News’ second-most popular show after Bill O’Reilly’s long-running The O’Reilly Report. Her deal with NBC News, news of which broke Jan. 3, caught media watchers by surprise.