Closer Weekly - - Closer -

Fol­low­ing Megyn Kelly’s de­par­ture, the morn­ing show plans a new third hour with fa­mil­iar faces.

Who needs soap op­eras when To­day has so much day­time drama? Just a year af­ter NBC fired Matt Lauer for sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions, the net­work’s new­est host, Megyn Kelly, who an­chored the show’s 9 a.m. hour, made an un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous exit fol­low­ing her con­tro­ver­sial com­ments about wear­ing black­face on Hal­loween. Will Hoda Kotb ride to the res­cue again?

Maybe. “We are start­ing a new chap­ter in the third hour of our show as it evolves,” Hoda said on Oct. 29, as she and Al Roker filled in. But rather than sign­ing an­other big-name host, the new show “is go­ing to look a lot like the first two hours,” at least for now, sources tell Closer. So ex­pect to see Sa­van­nah Guthrie, Hoda and Al back be­hind the an­chor desk on the third hour. (Craig Melvin and Jenna Bush Hager are also ex­pected to ap­pear.)

Megyn left Fox News Chan­nel for NBC in Jan­uary 2017 with a re­ported $69 mil­lion con­tract. While she ne­go­ti­ates in an at­tempt to get what she’s owed on her con­tract, the morn­ing show’s pro­duc­ers are forg­ing ahead and restyling the stu­dio that was built for Megyn Kelly To­day.

“Even­tu­ally NBC is hop­ing to set­tle on a per­ma­nent sin­gle host, duo or team,” the in­sider says. That may in­clude Al, who had been co-host­ing the hour be­fore Megyn’s ar­rival. “He’s more than anx­ious to be coan­chor­ing the show again,” the in­sider notes.

Hoda still co-hosts the fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gif­ford. If she’s called on to again steady the ship, “in­stead of feel­ing stretched thin, she’s rar­ing to go,” says the in­sider. “She’d host all four hours if she could.”

In fact, de­spite the tur­moil, the in­sider tells Closer, “The ex­ec­u­tives, staff and tal­ent look at the new changes as the next step to­ward a brighter, bet­ter To­day.” — Lisa Cham­bers

“The fam­ily To­day will con­tinue to bring you im­por­tant sto­ries.” — Hoda Kotb

Megyn's rat­ings were down from when Al and Tam­ron Hall hosted the hour.

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