Megyn Kelly was replaced by Jenna Bush Hager on Monday when Today aired a new episode of the third hour for the first time since the embattled host was ousted from the NBC morning show.
She did not appear however until the second half of the third hour, as the show kept the focus on the news out of Pittsburgh for much of the episode, where Savannah Guthrie was reporting for the network.
There was a brief mention of the recent events at the top of the program, when Hoda Kotb, Craig melvin and Al Roker kicked off the hour, but no mention of Kelly’s name.
‘Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show,’ said Kotb.
‘And as it evolves we want you to know the entire Today family will continue to bring you informative and important stories just as we always have.’
On Today: Jenna Bush Hager took over for Megyn Kelly on Thursday, appearing halfway through the third hour of Today
But first: Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker appeared at the top of the hour due to the breaking news out of Pittsburgh
Kotb only appeared at the top of the hour in light of the show’s breaking news coverage following the mass shooting at a synagogue over the weekend.
As a result, the reveal of who was replacing Kelly was delayed for some time, with Kotb finally announcing halfway through the hour that Hager would be taking over the show after the commercial break.
Hager was then seen alone in Kelly’s studio, which was shot to look incredibly small and intimate despite the $10 million that was spent to build the venue.
There was also no live studio audience.
Hager did her first segment alone before being joined on a couch by Melvin and Roker for an interview.
It was a very low key and dialed back affair, but one that seemed to make use of Kelly’s crew.
It was announced on Friday that Kelly would not be returning to the third hour of Today.
‘Megyn Kelly Today is not returning. Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors,’ said a spokesperson.
Kelly’s lawyer was quick to issue a statement in the wake of that announcement, saying: ‘Megyn remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing.’
She is currently still being paid.
Last, Kelly defended the practice of blackface during a roundtable discussion with an all-white panel where not one participant referenced the deeply racist and hurtful history of the practice in the United States.
She tried to clear the air by delivering a tearful apology on Wednesday, but it was too late.
Exit talks took place on Friday for a little over an hour between the attorneys for both sides DailyMail.com has learned, but there is no word on who was involved at the time.
DailyMail.com reported on Friday that a number of Megyn Kelly’s black colleagues were shocked that the host was fighting to receive a full payout of her contract after her comments defending blackface.
Segment: Melvin and Roker later joined Hager to shoot in the $10 million studio NBC built for Kelly, though there was no studio audience on Monday (Melvin, Hager and Roker doing a segment about first responders on Monday above)
Up in the air: There is still no word on who might become the permanent replacement on the show’s third hour, or when Kelly will exit the network
DailyMail.com spoke to a number of employees whose feelings on the subject ran the gamut from ‘deeply hurt’ to outright ‘appalled’ at Kelly’s behavior and reports that she might claim her coverage of the #MeToo movement played a role in her termination.
‘How dare she? Who the hell does she think she is?’ said one NBC employee
‘Her blackface comments were bad but falsely playing the #MeToo card is the worst form of white privilege I have ever seen.’
And another employee remarked: ‘She had no respect for the African American staff on her team and her apology was both fake and dismissive.’
An insider at the network told DailyMail.com that after a meeting with Kelly and her staff on Wednesday, a number of employees of color on the show voiced their frustration and anger with the host to human resources.
‘Lots of people were willing to give her a clean slate after the whole white Santa thing, but she showed her true colors this week,’ said the insider.
That insider also noted that what Kelly was doing was not only an affront to her black colleagues, but also the men and women of the #MeToo movement.
Before the blackface scandal, there were reports that her agent had a friendly conversation wtih Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan hinting at a possible return to Fox News.
DailyMail.com also reported that shortly after her blackface remarks but before she was pulled from the air, her agent (since fired) was calling other networks looking for a potential new home.
But an informed and high-level source at her former network told DailyMail.com on Friday that Kelly ‘is not coming back to any of the Fox News platforms.’
That comment came days after a Fox News spokesperson said, ‘We are extremely happy with our entire line-up.’