But Kelly, 47, insists that the popular guesses at her salary have all been inaccurate. “Somebody put out a number and everybody else has run with it, saying this must be the number and it isn’t,” she explains to Us Weekly. “But that’s fine. People want to believe want they want to believe.”
When critics have written about Kelly or her hour of Today – her show initially struggled to maintain an audience but has recently experienced ratings growth – many have featured this salary estimate to emphasize NBC’s investment and assumed expectation.
Does that headline-worthy salary, whatever it might be, and NBC’s investment in her show make the former Fox News host feel pressure to perform? “No,” she insists. “I don’t feel pressure because of money. I earn every penny that is in my salary. Every penny. So I have no apologies for making my salary, nor do I feel any extra burden because of it.”
Furthermore, she asserts that her job at NBC isn’t about money. “And if it was,” she says, “I would have stayed a practicing lawyer and I wouldn’t have taken a job for $17,000 as a reporter. Trust me, I was making a lot more money as an almost partner at Jones Day. Nor would I have left Fox News, which was definitely paying me more than I’m earning at NBC. But I don’t care. And the next job may pay less than this one. It’s not about money for me. It’s about doing what works for me, what makes me happy, what works with my family, and what I connect with. That’s it.”
Kelly left Fox News in January of 2017 after working for the network for 14 years. One of the reasons she gave for leaving was because she wanted to spend more time with her family: husband Douglas Brunt and their children: Yates, 9, Yardley, 7, and Thatcher, 5.
Though their mom appears on TV every day, when her kids ask Kelly if she’s famous, she’ll tell them “no” and only say that she “does the news.” The mom of three says it’s important to her to keep her kids grounded in reality with “values,” adding, “I don’t place any value on fame.”
But that doesn’t mean she places no value on money. “I want them to know the value of the dollar. They’ll say, ‘Are we rich? Are we rich?’ I always say, ‘Dad, and I are doing just fine, you have nothing.’ I don’t want them to grow up thinking that. I want them to be hungry to earn and work hard and to know the joy of accomplishment.”
For more of Kelly’s thoughts on her first year of hosting Megyn Kelly Today, her relationships with her other Today cohosts, and insight on her life at home, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.
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