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Report: Megyn Kelly is already ticking off her new bosses at NBC
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com
Intent on tackling controversial issues ranging from sexual harassment to the supposed gender pay gap, NBC host Megyn Kelly continues to make waves wherever she goes.
According to recent reports, Kelly is upsetting high-level executives at NBC by attempting to book Catt Sadler to her Today show. Sadler resigned from her position at E! News last month when she discovered that her male co-host making nearly double her salary.
It’s a risky move given that E! News and NBC are both owned by the same parent company, NBCUniversal.
Megyn Kelly is currently the highest paid news anchor at NBC; many in the industry believe Kelly has yet to prove she’s worth her lucrative contract.
Slap In the Face
According to insiders, the executives at NBC aren’t happy about Kelly’s push to interview Sadler.
An insider told the New York Post, “They [executives] are appalled [Kelly] would use their own airtime to criticize the company.” The insider continued, “Now Megyn is going to put Catt front and center — on NBC! Yikes.”
Kelly is attempting to book Sadler for an interview to discuss the alleged gender pay gap. Sadler, who announced her decision to leave E! News in December, said she chose to leave on principle once she realized she was being paid far less than her male co-host despite having similar qualifications. She wrote on her blog:
An executive from E brought something alarming to my attention — namely, that there was a massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself. More recently, when E reached out to renew and extend my deal, I learned that he wasn’t just making a little more than I was. In fact, he was making close to double my salary for the past several years.
NBC star Debra Messing also brought up the Sadler controversy while being interviewed live by E! News on the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Watch below:
Debra Messing drags E! (while being interviewed on E!): “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believing in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts” pic.twitter.com/HF3B2uhwtF
— David Mack (@davidmackau) January 7, 2018
Tread Lightly, Kelly
Kelly herself isn’t suffering from a pay gap — now that the disgraced anchor Matt Lauer is gone, she is the highest paid news personality at NBC by far, with an annual salary estimated between $18-23 million.
Kelly reportedly makes around $13 million more than Today co-host Hoda Kotb and reportedly, more than Kotb and Savannah Guthrie combined. The pay disparity would be justifiable if Kelly’s numbers warranted such a tidy sum, but that does not appear to be the case. NBC took a huge gamble in signing Kelly and placing her in the coveted and highly-competitive 9 a.m. slot.
Fox News summarized the dilemma:
The 7-9 a.m. ET hours of “Today,” which Kotb and Guthrie host, make a lot more money for NBC than Kelly’s struggling 9 a.m. ET hour.
Kelly’s hour of Today has performed poorly in the ratings compared to the vastly less expensive Today hour it replaced, and has been plagued by a series of gaffe’s and cringe-inducing segments. Kelly was even recently criticized for mentioning the benefits of fat-shaming.
It remains to be seen if Kelly will actually interview Sadler on her show. However, Kelly would be wise to tread carefully, especially since she is struggling to justify her massive annual salary.
Kelly does not want to win the battle only to realize that she lost the war when her contract comes up for renewal. The executives at NBC may not be as kind to her as they were when she first switched to the network, when Kelly was in her prime at Fox. If she is not careful, Kelly may find herself without a job and her reputation in tatters by the time her contract expires.
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