The National Association of Black Journalists [NABJ] wants to meet with NBC about the circumstances that have led to the “Today” show’s Tamron Hall leaving the network.
The statement, posted on the NABJ website, begins: “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.
“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.”
The statement continues, “Published reports suggest Kelly will be replacing ‘Today’s Takes,’ the hour of programming led by Hall and Roker. Roker tweeted last week that the show leads the ratings in its time slot and consistently beats its competition. This achievement deserves praise, not punishment, as replacing talent often is associated with low ratings performance. Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color. On ‘The Kelly File,’ her Fox News show, the host said then-First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University pandered to a ’culture of victimization.’
“While NABJ wishes Hall well on her next move, NABJ requests a meeting with NBC leadership on the top-rated show’s dismantling. We look forward to dialogue and resolve regarding black journalists and their continuing roles at NBC both in front and behind the camera.”
When The Wrap asked NBC about the NABJ statement, the publication was told, “NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity. We will continue to engage in the running dialogue we’ve had for many years with the National Association of Black Journalists and other advocacy groups to advance those goals.”
Hall had been the co-host of “Today’s” third hour since February, 2014. After working at WFLD in Chicago for ten years starting in 1997, she joined MSNBC in 2007.