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NBCUniversal chief reveals regrets of hiring Megyn Kelly for ‘Today’ slot: ‘We shouldn’t have done it’

He also referred to former anchor Matt Lauer as a 'grenade'

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Steve Burke, Megyn Kelly's former boss and head of NBCUniversal, says that hiring Kelly to host the 9 a.m. hour of the "Today" show was a mistake.

NBC cut ties with Kelly after she made controversial remarks about blackface in October.

She finalized her exit deal with the network last week, and left with the remainder of her contract, which was reportedly around $30 million.

On Friday, the network told CNN, "The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC."

So what did Burke say?

In an interview with Variety, which was published Monday, Burke said that Kelly — who was a host on Fox News for 12 years — was not a good fit for the slot, though he did call her a "huge talent."

"News organizations like ours should take risks," Burke reasoned. "I went over and told [Kelly] she should come here [to NBC].

"She was at the wrong time of day [on NBC]," he added. "In hindsight, we shouldn't have done it."

Kelly told TMZ on Friday that people can expect to see her on television in 2019.

What did he say about disgraced former anchor Matt Lauer?

Burke also added that he supported the November 2017 firing of former "Today" anchor Matt Lauer over reports of inappropriate sexual behaviors.

"I'm 100 percent behind [NBC chairman] Andy [Lack]," Burke said. "When the drumbeat began of 'You gotta fire this guy' — a lot of that was really unfair. Matt Lauer was a grenade that we didn't know was a grenade. I was here seven years and I thought Matt Lauer was the greatest interviewer in news."

In response to the allegations, Lauer issued a lengthy statement on Nov. 30, 2017.

It read:

There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul-searching, and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.
One last thing…
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