Megyn Kelly is peeved that Rachel Maddow reportedly makes $30 million

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On Tuesday’s episode of Sirius XM’s The Megyn Kelly Show, host Megyn Kelly critiqued MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump being ordered to pay millions to E. Jean Carroll, seemingly outraged at the lesbian anchor’s financial success.

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Following last week’s $83.3 million judgment against Trump for defaming Carroll while he was president, MSNBC announced an exclusive interview with Carroll, heralding it as her first post-verdict sit-down.

However, it later emerged that Carroll had already conducted multiple interviews before Maddow’s, diminishing the purported exclusivity of the MSNBC segment.

Kelly seized on this development, addressing Maddow’s salary in light of the Carroll interview situation in conversation with out right-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks in 2014, before abandoning mainstream journalism.

Related: Rachel Maddow on Modern-Day Extremism, American Democracy, and Her New Book, ‘Prequel’

“Sorry, Rachel, it didn’t work out! I love it! I’m sorry, but I love it. This woman, Rachel Maddow, is getting paid $30 million a year for one show a week,” Kelly said.

Her critique occurs at a moment when Maddow has expanded her role at NBC Universal. In 2021, The Daily Beast reported that Maddow and NBCUniversal agreed on a $30 million annual compensation deal.

Maddow’s career boasts high ratings and book success. Her show celebrated its 15th anniversary in September, regularly leading in its time slot. Maddow is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, such as Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House (co-written with Michael Yarvitz), and her latest bestseller, Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism.

In April 2022, Maddow announced that her show would air only once weekly and that the anchor would lead special coverage of events like election night broadcasts and State of the Union speeches. In 2022, Maddow co-hosted MSNBC’s coverage of the January 6 committee hearing primetime recaps the network dedicated its coverage to.

At an October book event in Washington, D.C., Maddow spoke candidly about her decision to adjust her schedule.

“I think I was burned out,” Maddow said. “It’s not that I want to work less; I just need to work in some different ways. I need time to read not just newspaper articles but books, and I need different deadlines, not just a deadline that comes every night at nine o’clock. I need change. And to their credit, I’m very grateful they’ve let me come up with some new way of doing this. And so I’ll do this for a while, and things will change again. There will be different iterations of what my job is at MSNBC, but I feel much better than I did.”

Related: Rachel Maddow’s ‘Prequel’ Tops New York Times Bestsellers List

Kelly left Fox News in 2017 after a 12-year tenure amid a sexual harassment scandal involving the network’s late chairman, Roger Ailes. She then joined NBC, where she hosted Megyn Kelly Today. The show faced several challenges, including backlash over her comments on blackface, which led to its cancellation and Kelly’s departure from NBC in 2019. According to Vanity Fair, after her departure, NBC settled with Kelly for the full amount of her $69 million contract despite the controversies she faced at the network. Since then, Kelly has spent much of her time as a far-right influencer, podcast host, and online personality who amplifies extremists like Chaya Raichik from Libs of TikTok.

Maddow’s awards include an Emmy for Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis for The Rachel Maddow Show and a Best Spoken Word Grammy for Blowout. Additionally, Maddow has been honored with a John Steinbeck Award, recognizing her commitment to discussing critical societal issues and advocating for change. Maddow has also been recognized by The Advocate’s sibling publication Out in its Out 100 list, celebrating influential figures in the LGBTQ+ community.

Retired NBCUniversal executive Mike Sington reacted to Kelly’s comments on X, formerly Twitter. “I’d like to remind this woman Megyn Kelly she was paid $69 million to host two shows on NBC, both of which bombed, and then she was fired from the network.”

After reducing her regular MSNBC appearances, Maddow has been involved in various projects. She worked on the 2003 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism award-winning podcast Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra, inspiring her book Prequel. In addition to its publishing in October 2023, she released the Rachel Maddow Presents: Deja News podcast.

Additionally, Focus Features is developing Bag Man, a feature film directed by Ben Stiller, based on Maddow’s podcast of the same name. The project delves into one of American history’s most brazen political bribery scandals. Maddow’s expanding role in film includes a partnership with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to develop a movie based on Ultra and a collaboration between her production company Surprise Inside, with filmmaker Adam McKay on a documentary about Trump associate and convicted felon Lev Parnas titled From Russia With Lev.

Watch Megyn Kelly question why Maddow gets paid millions below.