NEW YORK — “Megyn Kelly Today” is not over yet. But it’s a matter of when, not if.
Kelly’s exit from the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show appears to be imminent, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Kelly will not be hosting her program on Thursday, and she is unlikely to return later, one of the sources said. Friday episodes of her show are usually pre-taped.
“Given the circumstances, Megyn Kelly Today will be on tape the rest of the week,” an NBC News spokeswoman said Thursday morning.
Another source said that Kelly’s show will be ending, but negotiations about the end date and other details are still underway.
One key question: Whether she will stay with NBC News in some other role. She is scheduled to participate in the network’s midterm election night coverage in two weeks.
Kelly has parted ways with her talent agency, CAA, according to the sources, and she has hired attorney Bryan Freedman.
The decision to retain a lawyer may signal a lengthy battle over her contract, which is reportedly valued at $23 million a year. She is in the middle of the second year of a three year contract.
The talks about dropping Kelly’s 9 a.m. show pre-dated this week’s controversy about her offensive comments about blackface Halloween costumes.
NBC News staffers were calling her show a “disaster” well before this latest controversy.
And Kelly has been openly challenging the news division’s management, including NBC News chair Andy Lack, for months.
Spokespeople for NBC News declined to comment, and most staffers at the news division remain in the dark about what’s happening with the show.
Kelly started her show on Wednesday by apologizing for the comments made the previous day. Her audience gave her a standing ovation, but disappointment inside NBC News runs deep and isn’t likely to fade anytime soon. Al Roker and Craig Melvin strongly criticized Kelly’s comments during the 7 a.m. hour of “Today” on Wednesday. And Lack condemned her comments at an 11 a.m. town hall meeting.