“Tamron is an exceptional journalist, we valued and enjoyed her work at TODAY and MSNBC and hoped that she would decide to stay. We are disappointed that she has chosen to leave, but we wish her all the best,” NBC News said in a statement.
Hall has been at NBC Universal since 2007, when she joined MSNBC as a general reporter and fill-in anchor. She moved on to host NewsNation with Tamron Hall at the same network and then MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall, which (until yesterday) aired daily at 11 a.m. In 2014, Hall landed a coveted spot on Today, co-anchoring its third hour and becoming the show’s first African American woman anchor.
“The last ten years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. I’m also very excited about the next chapter. To all my great colleagues, I will miss you and I will be rooting for you,” Hall said in a statement.
The anchor has left just after news came out last week that Kelly, who left Fox News for NBC last month, would take over either Today’s third hour (which Al Roker will continue to host until Fall 2017) or its fourth hour (which is currently hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb). If Kelly takes the fourth hour, Gifford and Kotb will reportedly take over the third.
Upon learning that Hall would be out of her hosting duties, fans came to her defense–some noting that a black woman would be replaced by one who has been accused of racism in the past.
Megyn Kelly is going to replace Tamron Hall? That’s wild. https://t.co/5Fq8xbFicQ
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 27, 2017
If it’s true that @TODAYshow has moved @tamronhall out, I’m switching to GMA! Sick of their nonsense at Today.
— Crystal Davis (@crystald2) January 27, 2017
While fans may be disappointed, Today probably isn’t too concerned. Today ended 2016 on top in the lucrative 25-54 demographic, beating ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, and the show accounts for over 50% of NBC’s revenue from news programming, sources told FORBES. The revenue-driver (according to the latest Pew Research Center data, it brought in over $435 million in 2015) has lost prominent anchors before, such as Katie Couric and Ann Curry, and Hall has only been with the show for a few years.
“The Today Show is a leader in the morning time frame, and it has been for a long time” says Beth Ellen Egan, an advertising professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. “It has lost a lot of big people over the years and has still recovered. If i were … a big early morning advertiser, I wouldn’t be thinking twice.”
The bigger problems for Today may come once Kelly assumes her prominent hosting position, as it is unknown if she will appeal to the more general daytime audience that is quite different from her Kelly File viewers at Fox News. On top of that, NBC is likely paying Kelly close to $20 million–much more than it paid Hall, who didn’t make the $12 million cut off for FORBES’ highest-paid show hosts last year.
“Kelly starts with face recognition,” Al Tompkins, the Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. told FORBES. “But Katie and Anderson had that too, so it’s not enough,” he added, referring to the failed daytime shows of Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper.
|After 10 years at the network, Tamron Hall anchored her last shows for NBC News on Tuesday. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)|
Tamron Hall walks away from ‘Today’ over Megyn Kelly
Tamron Hall’s decision to leave NBC News after her show was axed to make way for new star Megyn Kelly sent shockwaves through the TV world — and a 30 Rock insider told Page Six Hall walked away leaving “multiple millions” on the table.
“Tamron was offered a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal to stay at the ‘Today’ show and she turned it down,” the insider said. “People inside NBC were shocked. They expected her to stay,” a source said.
Hall’s relationship with NBC soured when the network canceled her top-rated morning show “Today’s Take,” which she co-hosted with Al Roker, to create a slot for Kelly. Hall found out she was being ousted minutes before she went on-air last Friday. “She was devastated to get the news. It was almost an Ann Curry moment live again on TV. It was surreal,” another insider told us.
Staffers have been buzzing about Andy Lack’s decision to replace “Today’s” first black female anchor with Kelly.
“Tamron doesn’t know Megyn, but of course it’s insulting. Her show was beating Kelly Ripa and ‘Nightly News’ would rate well when she would fill in for Lester Holt. It was a very tense few days for everyone. There was a lot of crying,” the source added. “Tamron never wanted this fight, but she was ready for it. No deal would stop her from standing up after Roker posted their successful ratings [on Twitter].”
Kelly will either take over Hall’s 9 a.m. slot or appear at 10 a.m. when she starts in September.
Roker will continue his duties as “Today” weatherman. And he doesn’t appear too happy either. He exclusively told Page Six, “I’ve been part of the Today family for over 20 years, and will be for many years to come. I enjoy hosting the 9 a.m., and while there’s some disappointment, it’s been a lot of fun and change is part of the business.”
Meanwhile Hall, who was denied a farewell on ‘Today” and is leaving immediately, said in a statement, “The last ten years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. I’m also very excited about the next chapter.”
She will continue to host “Deadline: Crime” on Investigation Discovery.
'Today' co-anchor Tamron Hall is leaving NBC News
Veteran anchor Tamron Hall is leaving NBC News, the company announced Wednesday.
Hall decided to depart the program instead of taking a new role at “Today” as part of a new multiyear contract. She recently learned she would be losing her co-anchor slot on the 9 a.m. hour of “Today.” The morning program is being cut by an hour to make room for a new daytime talk show with Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News anchor who signed with NBC News.
Hall, 46, made history on “Today” when in 2014 she became the first African American woman to serve as a co-anchor in the program’s 65-year history. In addition to being seen daily in the 9 a.m. hour, she was a frequent fill-in for main co-anchors Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
Hall’s exit — and the plan to give her hour to a former anchor for the politically right-leaning Fox News — has drawn criticism from the National Assn. of Black Journalists.
“The National Association of Black Journalists is saddened by Tamron Hall's departure from NBC," the organization said in a statement. “She broke ground as the first black female ‘Today Show’ co-host and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show's third hour of programming. NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing.”
In 2016, the organization gave “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt — the first African American to be the solo anchor of a network evening newscast — its journalist of the year award.
According to people familiar with the discussions with Hall who were not authorized to comment publicly, NBC offered her a significant financial incentive to stay with the network.
Hall first joined NBC News in 2007 after local news stints in Chicago and Dallas. She was also seen daily as a daytime news anchor on cable network MSNBC.
“The last ten years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful,” Hall said in a statement provided by NBC News. “I’m also very excited about the next chapter. To all my great colleagues, I will miss you and I will be rooting for you.”
Roker, the weather anchor for “Today,” will continue to co-anchor the 9 a.m. hour until the program is replaced in the fall, an NBC News representative said. If Kelly’s new program airs at 10 a.m., the “Today” co-hosts in that hour, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, will move to 9 a.m.
No decision has been made on the replacement for Hall on MSNBC.