In the wake of Megyn Kelly’s sudden exit, Today starts a new chapter…with some familiar faces.
As the third hour of Today kicked off on Oct. 29 — three days after NBC canceled Megyn Kelly Today in the wake of its host’s controversial comments about blackface — co-anchor Hoda Kotb had some reassuring words for viewers. “We are starting a new chapter,” Hoda said, with Al Roker and Craig Melvin by her side. “We want you to know that the entire Today family will continue to bring you informative and important stories, just as we always have.”
But fans may notice a new kick in their favorite stars’ steps. With Megyn, 47, gone, says an NBC source, “staffers, talent and executives all feel relieved.” Plagued by falling ratings under the former Fox News host’s leadership over the past 13 months, Today’s 9 a. m. slot now presents an opportunity for her former colleagues. Now insiders tell Life & Style about the show’s future — and the part disgraced former anchor Matt Lauer played in Megyn’s exit.
HAPPILY MOVING ON
Viewers will be seeing familiar faces in Megyn’s old time slot. “There won’t be any high-profile star coming at some astronomical salary [ like Megyn’s $ 25-million- a-year paycheck] to save the day,” says
the NBC source. “Top brass learned their lesson. They’ll be hiring from within the NBC family from now on.” Jenna Bush Hager, 36, has already spent time filming in Megyn’s old studio, and fans can expect to see a whole lot more of her, Al, 64, and Craig, 39, with the occasional assist from Hoda, 54, and fellow co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, 46. Other fan faves will pop up, too. “They’re still in discussions with some very exciting possibilities,” says the NBC source. “Even Matt’s name has come up in whispered conversations.”
That’s right — despite leaving NBC in shame in November 2017 amid a sexual misconduct scandal, Matt, 60, has continued to hold sway behind the scenes at Today. In fact, “Matt contacted his old cronies at NBC within minutes of Megyn’s catastrophic Oct. 23 blackface comments and had a hand in her show’s cancellation,” an insider reveals. “It’s sweet revenge for Matt after Megyn repeatedly criticized him and focused on his bad behavior. Now her scandal has taken the ‘most hated person in broadcasting’ spotlight off of him.”
Megyn’s lawyer and the network have been haggling over money and her nondisclosure agreement. But she’s already starting to be a distant memory for her former morning show cohorts. “It’s a whole new ballgame at Today,” says the insider, “and everyone is thrilled that Megyn is no longer on the team.”
Starting Fresh ”Get ready for a new set, new attitude, some old faces and new ones,” says an NBC source of the show’s third hour, which was taken over by Craig, Hoda, Jenna and Al on Oct. 29.
“Everyone who worked on Today could see her exit coming a mile away,” says an NBC source of scandal-prone Megyn. Megyn, Who?