NBC News stands accused of “whitewashing” now that Megyn Kelly has apparently bumped Tamron Hall from the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show.
Although the network reportedly offered Hall, 46, a lucrative new contract that included significant face time on the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Today flagship and a continuation of her MSNBC show, among other platforms, she decided on Wednesday to walk away from NBC entirely after 10 years.
Megyn Kelly, also 46, famously left Fox News in January for a gig with NBC, which includes hosting a Monday-through-Friday program during the day (which is as yet officially undefined), a Sunday night 60 Minutes-style news magazine, and anchoring duties during big events. The Today hosting role, if that’s what it is, will allow Megyn Kelly to branch out from just hard news coverage.
In the meantime, rumors also persist that Megyn Kelly is going to steamroll Today host Savannah Guthrie as well, something that NBC execs have denied.
“Multiple sources tell Page Six that Kelly is likely to take the lead role on the NBC morning show with [Matt] Lauer when she starts in September. Guthrie, who recently signed a new long-term deal with Today, could be bumped to another role or even take over Hall’s 9 a.m. slot, we’re told,” the New York Post claimed.
When it comes to the departure of Tamron Hall from NBC, the National Association of Black Journalists has raised the allegation of whitewashing in a statement, particularly since the Hall/Roker combination was pulling in the viewers.
“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…Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color…”
The NABJ also requested a meeting with network executives to discuss diversity issues at NBC.
NBC responded by insisting that it has a stellar record for newsroom diversity and will continue the dialogue with NABJ and other advocacy groups in connection with that subject, the Post separately detailed.
Since taking over the coveted 9 p.m. time slot from Megyn Kelly and The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel, Tucker Carlson has doubled his predecessor’s ratings.
Although the bookend Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity opinion shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. respectively are and were pro-Donald Trump, The Kelly File featured a lot of anti-Trump content, which didn’t sit well with a lot of the fans of the New York real estate mogul who went on to become the 45th U.S. president. A libertarian, Carlson is generally Trump-friendly.
With that in mind, media analysts are undecided as to whether Megyn Kelly’s move to NBC will prove to be a success in terms of viewership. Trump supporters and others who lean right politically may not watch, while Kelly’s Fox News pedigree may prove unacceptable to liberals as suggested perhaps in the NABJ statement. Along these lines, Trump fans also claim that Alisyn Camerota has moved significantly left ideologically since jumping from Fox & Friends to CNN.
Some Megyn Kelly critics also contend that when the star famously challenged the future president during the August 2015 GOP presidential debate about his past disparaging comments about women (“only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump famously quipped), it was more about careerism and auditioning for another network — which turned out to be NBC — than a legitimate journalistic inquiry.
That exchange prompted a long-running feud, although Kelly says that she and the president have since buried the hatchet.
Yesterday on Facebook Live, Megyn Kelly revealed that the stress-inducing conflict with Trump brought her and her husband closer together, People reported.
Do you think NBC News is engaging in whitewashing with the hire of Megyn Kelly and the exit of Tamron Hall?
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