Fox News undermined Megyn Kelly long after she left for NBC; Update: Fox responds

Soon after Kelly departed her highly rated prime-time perch at Fox News in early 2017, Fox News’ notoriously ruthless public-relations and communications arm began encouraging outside reporters to cover negative stories about Kelly—a practice that continued right up to the “blackface” comment that proved to be her downfall.

Multiple sources tell The Daily Beast that top Fox flack Irena Briganti’s team suggested other media outlets write not just about Kelly’s “blackface” remarks, but about several other missteps throughout her NBC career.

According to two sources familiar with the situation, when Megyn Kelly Today showed initial signs of terrible ratings at NBC, the Fox News comms apparatus flagged those numbers for media reporters.

Late last year, when Kelly endured online backlash for asking a Will & Grace fan if he was influenced to become gay because of the show and its lead character—and when Will & Grace star Debra Messing subsequently criticized Kelly—Fox PR quietly pushed the news to entertainment and media scribes.

Update: Fox sends along this statement: “The allegations in this story are wildly inaccurate and patently absurd. The Daily Beast is relying on outdated information from former employees. The PR department here defends and protects the FOX News brand and all of its talent on a 24/7 basis. There is no war whatsoever and no resentment against anyone who formerly worked at the network, including Megyn.”