If you were Megyn Kelly, how would you feel about this? Since she lost her Megyn Kelly Today show, the third hour of Today has had more viewers and a boost of about 10 percent in the key ratings demographic.
But if Megyn Kelly feels any burn from that loss, she can console herself with more than $30 million. That's the value left on her three-year $69 million contract with NBC News, and she's expected to walk away with all of it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Megyn Kelly's NBC News exit deal could be finalized as early as next week. It has been less than a month since NBC canceled her morning show, with that pink slip coming just days after the host's controversial comments on wearing blackface in Halloween costumes.
Since then, Nielsen ratings and overall viewers have been kind to Today. It's not clear yet whether the higher numbers will last, or if more fans are watching out of temporary curiosity to see how NBC handles Megyn Kelly's departure. For now, the third hour is being hosted by a rotating group of anchors, and it has seen spikes in both demo ratings and the total audience.
As Variety noted, Megyn Kelly Today's last week on air had 675,000 viewers between ages 25 and 54, and roughly 2.52 million viewers overall. Compare that to last week, when the post-Kelly third hour had 741,000 viewers between 25 and 54 and more than 2.63 million viewers overall.
Whether connected to Megyn Kelly or not, the first two hours of Today have also gotten a boost. In the past three weeks, Today has had more overall viewers than ABC's Good Morning America. Usually, GMA has the larger overall audience.
Today has been through a lot of changes in the past year, beyond Megyn Kelly. Matt Lauer was ousted in dramatic fashion, leaving Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb as the flagship anchors. Now the morning lineup has shifted again with Kelly's departure.
For Megyn Kelly, this is just the latest shakeup in her high-profile career. She was a Fox News anchor from 2004 to 2017 before leaving the network for NBC News. Long before her blackface comments, Kelly's morning show was struggling in the ratings for NBC. Her previous NBC show, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, faced backlash for her interviews with Vladimir Putin and Alex Jones.
On the upside, Oscar winner Charlize Theron is set to play Megyn Kelly in the upcoming film on embattled Fox News founder Roger Ailes. That has to be an ego boost for Kelly, if nothing else.
It's not clear what Megyn Kelly will do next, but there's speculation that she may return to cable news before the 2020 election. Or she could just retire now and live off all of that money.