Several months ago, NBC hired Megyn Kelly who had been a long-time reporter for the conservative Fox News Network. To begin with, Kelly’s hiring seemed very abrupt and out of the place for the network. One insider told The Daily Beast:
‘A lot of people were watching the [Sunday] magazine show to try to get a sense of her appeal to the daytime demographic and a sense of how she would be outside of the Fox environment. Fox News skews very male… I always tend to think of her as more of a guy’s girl than a girl’s girl… It’s extremely challenging, and I’m not sure Megyn’s personality really connects with women.’
Now, out of nowhere, NBC is making a move that has many people panicking. Tamron Hall, one of the best and well-liked presenters on The Today Show has abruptly left the network without any warm goodbyes after it appears that she was bumped from her segment to make room for Kelly. It was reported that she wasn’t told until minutes before her segment was ready to air that it was being scrapped.
For three years, Hall co-hosted The Today Show’s third hour with Al Roker. Hall, a black host, pulled in ratings, especially with a younger and more diverse crowd. Hall announced her departure six months ago. Now after their snake-like move, NBC executives themselves are panicking that Kelly won’t draw in the viewing crowd they want and will only attract white older viewers. According to The Daily Beast:
‘The 46-year-old Hall, whose final appearance was Tuesday on MSNBC, turned down a multimillion-dollar offer to stay, according to a person familiar with the situation, including a significant role on the first two hours of Today, the weekend Nightly News anchor chair, an expanded role on Dateline NBC—essentially Lester Holt’s portfolio before he was named Nightly’s weekday anchor—and the opportunity to continue hosting her MSNBC show.’
Hall attempted to make deals with both ABC News’ Good Morning America and CNN, but now it seems as though she will go back to daytime TV on her own terms, starting a new talk show with the support of Harvey Weinstein.
The National Association of Black Journalists has accused NBC of “whitewashing.” They released this statement:
‘The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is saddened by Tamron Hall’s departure from NBC. She broke ground as the first black female Today show cohost and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show’s third hour of programming.’
Considering the current political climate, NBC’s decision may not be all that surprising. However, with such a brazen move they may see their ratings fall, while Tamron Hall may be wildly successful doing her new talk show. Only time will tell.
Watch this Wendy Williams segment as they discuss Hall’s departure from NBC.
Featured image Bennett Raglin/Getty Images.