‘Today’ ratings soar as Megyn Kelly’s exit finalized

 pagesix.com  1/14/2019 6:18:19 PM   Sara Nathan

Megyn Kelly finalized her exit from NBC News on Friday night — at the same time her former hour of “Today” has found a bump in ratings after her departure.

For the second time since Kelly, 48, exited the show, it beat ABC rival “Live! With Kelly and Ryan.” The third hour of “Today” — which now features NBC News talent including Dylan Dreyer, Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones and Craig Melvin — won over the syndicated ABC show for the week of Dec. 24, both in total viewers and the “key” 25-to-54 demographic, according to Nielsen.

Before that December week of shows, NBC’s third hour most recently beat “Live!” in November — after Kelly left “Today” amid the storm she caused with her infamous on-air comments on blackface over Halloween — and in December 2016, when the hour was called “Today’s Take” and hosted by Roker and Tamron Hall.

The ratings show that outside of those two wins, the third hour has greatly narrowed the gap with “Live!”

Meanwhile, Kelly finalized her exit deal with NBC late on Friday and will get the full remainder of her $69 million deal — valued at $30 million, as NBC confirmed, “The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of the network.”

As part of the pact, Kelly now will be able to take jobs at other networks. A source told us, “She’s free to pursue any job opportunities.”

She’ll likely concentrate on news after her experiment with fluffier morning TV. (But a source said of her NBC exit, “She signed the non-disclosure agreement, so don’t expect any tell-all books or big interviews.”)

We’re told she ended up signing an exit deal very similar to the regular NBC news employee contract.

Kelly hinted at the exit development earlier in the week when she told a paparazzo who asked of her 2019 plans: “You’ll definitely see me back [on TV].”

Last month, she was spotted with a new, shorter haircut that hearkened back to her days on Fox News and said of the look: “I got it chopped! You know, it’s like coming on the new year. New beginnings … a fresh start.”

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