NBC News is claiming in a new interview that Tamron Hall was offered a “substantive” and “prominent” role at the network. But shortly after Megyn Kelly was offered a new job there, Hall headed for the door.
“I don’t necessarily accept the premise of the preamble. But I will also say that I very much hoped that Tamron would remain with NBC News,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim told The Hollywood Reporter in a new wide-ranging interview when asked if Hall was angry that her role was being diminished to make room for Kelly. “We made her an offer that I think reflected our strong desire that she be part of our family moving forward, that would have given her a very prominent and substantive role here at the network. We were obviously disappointed that she chose to pursue her future elsewhere, and we wish her only the best.”
But…not so fast.
A Mirror media industry source familiar with the network’s inner workings is calling major b.s. on Oppenheim’s claim that NBC offered Hall a significant presence at the network.
“There’s an attempt by NBC to portray Tamron for being the ungrateful black woman who, in their largess, offered her more,” the source said. “That is absolutely nonsense. They keep saying how they offered her a substantial presence on the network. Why won’t they describe what that was? She was going to be a fill in on the TODAY show. She was already anchoring her own five-day-a-week show on MSNBC and she could anchor one of the shows on the weekend. So what exactly is substantial?”
The source said other talent at the network were earning more than Hall and doing less work:
“Let’s take published reports. Billy Bush was making 4 million. Published reports said they were offering her 2. She was working far more and getting far less? NBC has to ask themselves why they were paying Carson Daly far more than they were paying her? They took away a successful hour to give it to Megyn Kelly.”
Hall ultimately determined that leaving was the right call. “Why am I going backwards?” the source said, mimicking Hall’s thought process. “Why should I be old Miss Grateful?”
The Mirror source asked, “Why was she having to do so much more work and earning far less compared to folks like Billy Bush and Carson Daly? They are trying to spin this as oh just how substantial her presence was going to be. It was what she was already doing. Oppenheim and [NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy] Lack are trying to position this as a step up when it was not.”
But, the media insider added, “Tamron is not bitter. She is not angry. She is enjoying her life. She is having a good time and is very much looking forward to the next stage of her career. She wishes them well. But folks there need to stop with the spin.”
Hall left NBC in late January after her hour of the “TODAY” show was nixed. At the time, execs said that the last hour of “TODAY” was being canceled to make room for Kelly.
She hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs.
In February, Hall told Us Weekly that she had been spending her time packing up a “mother lode” of her fanciest clothes to donate to charity. In mid-April, Hello Beautiful, an online women’s lifestyle site, ran a piece saying Hall was “living it up” and “showing you what being unbossed and unbothered looks like.” The story said she was “getting her workout on” and taking a page out of Oprah’s playbook by “living her best life.”
On April 18, she posted a picture of herself on Instagram prepping for a special on TLC. She wrote, “A little meditation before taping an upcoming @tlc special. Stay tuned.”
On Sunday, Hall hosts the premier of Investigation Discovery — a one-hour special called “Sexual Assault in College: Tamron Hall Investigates.”
Kelly, meanwhile, is expected to begin at NBC News in June. Oppenheim said Kelly will have no regular presence on NBC between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
She’ll have a Sunday 7 p.m. newsmagazine program he thinks can compete against CBS’s well-worn “60 Minutes.” She’ll also be given the 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. slot — Oppenheim still hasn’t decided. Either way, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will continue to drink wine for an hour.
If Kelly gets a “big interview” she’ll appear on various programs, Oppenheim said.
Here’s Hall this week on the streets of New York City in a Trash & Boujee dress.