After Blackface Comment, Megyn Kelly Loses Her Show and Her Huge Paycheck

Learn how polarizing news veteran Megyn Kelly made her millions.
  • Megyn Kelly’s “Megyn Kelly Today” was canceled Friday, Oct. 26.
  • The host got in hot water after making remarks on air about not understanding why blackface was racist if you are in costume on Halloween.
  • Apologizing both publicly and to her co-workers doesn’t appear to have saved her job. Kelly came to NBC after a long career at Fox News.

NBC canceled “Megyn Kelly Today,” making official what had appeared likely after the network spent Thursday morning telling the show’s staff members where they would be reassigned, a source told Entertainment Tonight. Megyn Kelly had tearfully apologized for her racist remarks regarding blackface.

She voiced her original comments on Tuesday, Oct. 23, during an episode of her morning show, saying that dressing in blackface was appropriate as long as you were portraying a character. The backlash was almost instantaneous. The former Fox News anchor apologized to her colleagues the same afternoon. She issued a formal apology on her show the next day.

This is not the first time Kelly has courted controversy. She’s fought for the notion that Jesus and Santa were white, and has downplayed racism in the past. Her settling into her new role at NBC after leaving her longtime position at Fox News last year has not been easy; her primetime show “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” received a mixed reception and was reduced to sporadic airings, with no confirmation of whether the series would be renewed or canceled. Read on for a look at Kelly’s net worth and rise to the top.

Birthdate: Nov. 18, 1970
Net worth: $15 million
Sources of income: “Megyn Kelly Today”
Career highlights: Her show on Fox News, “The Kelly File,” was No. 1 in its slot and No. 2 overall from the time it launched; she famously sparred with now-President Donald Trump during a 2016 presidential election debate.

Megyn Kelly Net Worth: $15M

So, who is Megyn Kelly? And what is Megyn Kelly’s net worth? First of all, she’s almost certainly the highest-paid female anchor on television. After 12 years as the host of “The Kelly File” on Fox News, the star TV personality announced she was leaving in 2017 for a job with NBC. According to Forbes, the Fox News parent company offered her $20 million a year to stay, but it was not enough. Megyn Kelly NBC salary statistics are unknown, but NBC probably didn’t match the offer. It’s likely, however, that it came close with a contract that was more lucrative than the $15 million per year she had been making.

Related: Most Expensive Scandals

In 2016, Forbes reported that publisher HarperCollins gave Kelly a $10 million advance to write her memoirs. In a 2015 article, Fortune asked the question, “Is Megyn Kelly the next Oprah Winfrey?”

So, how much is Megyn Kelly worth? At least $15 million.

Megyn Kelly Election Coverage

Megyn Kelly bio highlights include her coverage of the raucous 2016 election. She didn’t just cover the event; she became part of the story.

No stranger to politics, Kelly graduated from Syracuse with a degree in political science. She covered the 2004 presidential election and contributed to coverage of the 2008 presidential election and 2010 midterm election. She was also a co-anchor on “America’s Election Headquarters” on Fox News in 2012 and 2014.

Red, White, Blue and Green: The Money Behind Donald Trump’s Cabinet and Advisors

In August 2015, however, the stakes were raised when Kelly co-moderated the first GOP primary debate. Drawing more than 24 million viewers, it was the highest-rated telecast in the network’s history. Additionally, 11.1 million people tuned in to the post-debate episode of “The Kelly File,” a record for her show and a 1,000 percent increase over her normal viewership.

Not only did the debate give Kelly new exposure, but it also inserted her into what was already an outrageous election season when she sparred with Donald Trump, who would go on to win the presidency. Following the debate, Kelly became the object of Trump’s derision, and the language he used to describe her ignited a national discussion on sexism and misogyny.

Megyn Kelly’s Career

Kelly is not a career journalist. For more than a decade, she was a corporate lawyer. Kelly married a doctor named Dan Kendall in 2001, and when the couple moved to Washington, D.C., in 2003, she decided she wanted to become a journalist

Kelly has since divorced Kendall and is now married to Douglas Brunt. She and Brunt have three children.

To kickstart her journalism career, Kelly made her own demo tape and began cold-calling news stations. One of the people who received her demo was Kim Hume, then a Fox News Washington bureau chief and wife of well-known Fox personality Brit Hume, who was so impressed with Kelly that he brought the tape to the network’s chair, Roger Ailes.

Kelly’s background in law enabled her to provide thoughtful analysis of legal stories and helped her become a Fox News anchor. She reported on site, conducted a bevy of high-level interviews and broke news that would help exonerate a group of college lacrosse players falsely accused of rape. Was Megyn Kelly worth the big Fox News salary? The ratings tell the tale. “The Kelly File” was No. 1 in its slot and No. 2 overall from the time it launched.

Also See: Oprah Winfrey’s Net Worth Just Grew So Much She Broke a New Record

Megyn Kelly Awards and Praise

The official Megyn Kelly biography also includes plenty of industry recognition. Kelly received her first accolades when she was still a student at Syracuse University. She graduated with honors from Albany Law School and was named editor of the Albany Law Review. Among her other honors and awards are:

  • 2009: Kelly won an award from Childhelp for her coverage of child abuse cases.
  • 2014: Kelly made Time’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People” alongside Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
  • 2014: She was invited to host the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame awards.
  • 2016: Kelly was named one of Variety’s Power of Women New York honorees.

Click through to learn President Donald Trump’s net worth.

More on Net Worths

We make money easy. Get weekly email updates, including expert advice to help you Live Richer™.

Sean Dennison contributed to the reporting for this article.