Megyn Kelly has been building a fail-safe plan to ensure she can’t be fired from NBC News amid her show’s tanking ratings, executives at NBC News tell DailyMailTV exclusively.
The former Fox News host launched her much-hyped show Megyn Kelly Today last September after securing a three-year contract for a staggering $69 million.
Despite NBC heavily promoting the 47-year-old’s show, her ratings have been abysmal, with viewers changing the channel when the Today show ends over to rival ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Megyn began extensively covering the #MeToo movement in a bid to carve out a place for her show, even covering her own colleagues at the network who had been accused or fired over allegations of sexual misconduct, most notably Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw.
Multiple top executives at NBC tell DailyMailTV they believe she has strategically positioned herself as a champion of #MeToo in case her show is cancelled, paving the way for a potential suit for being fired for speaking out against her employer.
A high-ranking source at NBC told DailyMailTV: ‘Everyone has had enough and they want Megyn out.
‘It’s like she’s the Manchurian candidate of NBC News – someone put inside the network to take it down from within.
‘Her strategy is the talk of 30 Rock. As soon as her show became a dumpster fire she actively positioned it as the only place on network television that it is ”MeToo” continually.
‘By aggressively reporting on every male accused of sexual misconduct at the network, it would make her much harder to fire.
‘If NBC did fire her, she’ll argue she was terminated for speaking up, when in fact she is an opportunist who latched on to an important movement when nothing else was working for her.
‘Let’s be frank – a woman determined to support other women wouldn’t have launched her show by asking Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery.’
NBC president Andy Lack, who has been accused of turning a blind eye towards sexual misconduct claims at the network, is said to be ‘annoyed’ by Megyn’s attempts to turn her show into a forum for the movement, including her coverage of claims against Brokaw and Lauer.
A NBC News spokesperson responded in a statement: ‘None of this is true. NBC News is thrilled that Megyn is on our team and is extremely proud of her work including her coverage of the #MeToo movement since her earliest days at the network.
‘We are also very pleased with her 9am show, which is substantive, empowering and engaging.’
After Lauer was fired from the Today show in November 2017 following reports of sexual harassment, Megyn was the first to have a TV interview with Addie Collins Zinone.
Zinone had a month-long affair with Lauer in 2000 when she was just a 24-year-old production assistant at Today.
While Zinone said the relationship was consensual, she added that the power dynamics had made her later regret the relationship.
Kelly’s show hit its one year anniversary this month and she donned a little black dress and leopard heels, celebrating the milestone that many thought she wouldn’t see, considering her disappointing ratings.
ABC’s rival show Live with Kelly and Ryan, starring Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, has been trouncing Megyn’s show, consistently beating her out in viewership.
A top NBC brass added to DailyMailTV: ‘The ratings show that when Megyn comes on, the audience leaves and switches over to Kelly and Ryan on ABC.
‘Here is the highest paid on air personality actively tearing down the network at 9am every morning.
‘The anchors, producers and executives all share the same opinion – Megyn Kelly needs to leave NBC!’
A NBC News spokesperson pointed to research that shows Megyn averaged 2.4 million viewers in September – the highest it has been since February.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – Cheyenne Roundtree