BIG CHANGES

In the wake of Megyn Kelly’s sud­den exit, To­day starts a new chap­ter…with some fa­mil­iar faces.

Life & Style Weekly - - Contents -

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?

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