Tamron Hall leaving NBC in wake of network canceling her hour of ‘Today’
NEW YORK — Tamron Hall, a regular host on NBC’s “Today” show and MSNBC, is leaving the network later this month.
Her departure was announced on after days of contentious contract negotiations.
Hall had been the co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show and a daytime anchor on MSNBC.
Last week executives informed Hall and the “Today” staff that the 9 a.m. hour was being canceled to make room for a new program led by former Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
Hall won’t have a chance to say goodbye on the air. “Yesterday was her last day as an anchor on both networks,” NBC said in a statement.
“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.”
It is unclear if Hall has another television news job lined up.
In a statement released through NBC, Hall said, “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.”
When word of the 9 a.m. hour cancellation spread last Friday, there was an outpouring of support for Hall and co-host Al Roker on social media.
At the time, NBC sources said Hall would likely remain with the network in other roles. But there was tension behind the scenes.
Some staffers came to Hall and Roker’s defense and questioned the 9 a.m decision. Observers writing for web sites like Jezebel and The Daily Caller drew attention to the racial context of the change — two black hosts being replaced by a white woman who spent a decade at a conservative cable news channel.
“This news is more than disappointing, since the two most prominent black faces on” the “Today” show “are losing out to accommodate a white conservative with a history of questionable rhetoric with regard to race relations in America,” Paula Rogo wrote for Essence.com.
Kelly has said she is an independent, not a conservative. She’s not choosing her new time slot, her bosses are, but Hall’s departure shows how TV news moves sometimes cause domino effects.
Roker will remain in the time slot until the fall. He will also remain the “Today” show meteorologist in the 7 and 8 a.m. hours.
NBC hasn’t officially said if Kelly’s new show will take over the 9 a.m. or the 10 a.m. time slot. But if it is scheduled at 10 a.m., then Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s show will move up to 9 a.m.