On Wednesday, February 1st, Tamron Hall announced via a joint statement with NBC News that she would be leaving both NBC and MSNBC after ten years, and the Today Show after almost three. Hall’s departure comes after former Fox host, Megyn Kelly, is set to replace Hall and her co-host Al Roker on their 9 am show.
The reports became even more surprising because of the fact Today Takes, the show Hall co-hosted with Roker, was set to surpass Kelly Ripa’s Live with Kelly in ratings. However, Hall’s position on that particular show was not permanent as she was filling in for fellow Today anchor Savannah Guthrie who is currently on maternity leave. Hall was offered a multi-million dollar deal to continue her roles on the Today Show but ultimately decided to decline.
“She wasn’t going to settle for sitting on the sidelines… She basically said thank you, but no thank you.”
Being the first Black woman to ever be a host on the Today show and the inspiration for BET’s Being Mary Jane, Hall is definitely a trailblazer for diversity in journalism.
She described being inspired by Iola Johnson, the first Black news anchor in Hall’s hometown of Dallas, Texas and recognized her “rare” role as a “single Black woman on morning TV.” This role was also recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) who released a statement of their own, expressing their disappointment in Hall’s decision to leave and went on to criticize Megyn Kelly’s “well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color” and described Hall and Roker’s replacement as “whitewashing.” In People Magazine, a source close to Hall said that “She wasn’t going to settle for sitting on the sidelines… She basically said thank you, but no thank you.”
Hall closed the statement positively: “The last 10 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.”