What's really going on with Tamron Hall

Tamron Hall secured her place in the TV news industry when she joined the Today show in February 2014. But while she was beloved, she wouldn't stay at the daytime program for too long. In February 2017, the always-dramatic world of morning news, which had endured major co-host drama and even a scandal with President Donald J. Trump, was hit with another bombshell when Hall suddenly announced she was leaving NBC News and MSNBC.

After the big news broke, the Today show was quickly thrust into the media spotlight as audiences tried to figure out just why Hall had quit and if NBC's newest hire, former Fox News star Megyn Kelly, had anything to do with it. Keep reading to learn all about Hall's decision to leave the popular morning show behind, and find out how the broadcast journalist eventually partnered with a rival network to mount her next big chapter.

 

Hall's exit was abrupt

Hall shocked her millions of fans when she announced she was leaving her top-rated post on the Today show, as well as her duties on MSNBC, after her contract expired at the end of February 2017. "The last ten years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I'm grateful," she said in a statement (via Page Six). "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."

"Tamron Hall will be leaving NBC News and MSNBC when her contract expires this month," a spokesperson for NBC said. "Yesterday was her last day as an anchor on both networks. 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."

Hall joined MSNBC and the Today show in 2007 and 2014, respectively.

Did Kelly get in the way?

Hall's exit came just a few days after reports confirmed NBC was canceling the third hour of Today—during which Hall co-anchored Today's Take alongside Al Roker — to make room for new addition Kelly. Sources for People magazine claimed Hall was informed of the shake-up just "minutes before going on MSNBC," and the timing of the announcement "seems to have contributed to her decision to move on." The source said, "She couldn't believe they told her right before she had to go on air. She was definitely shocked."

Other show insiders are apparently unhappy with the decision, especially after the Today's Take program's recent surge in ratings. "Everyone has been left in the dark and no one knows why there's such a disruption when shows are doing so well across the board," a source told Page Six. "People are pissed," another source said. "The third hour was beating every syndicated show across the board. They were in over their head and bit off more than they can chew when they hired Megyn."

She's handling everything like a pro

Despite Hall's sudden departure, NBC apparently didn't have to worry about dealing with another Ann Curry-esque situation in the press. In fact, sources told People Hall was "very much herself" after the Kelly news hit the tabloids. "She was bubbly as usual on air," an insider said. "She may have been annoyed, but she didn't show it on air." Others sources have praised Hall for being "nothing short of a team player" and keeping any potential drama off the air. "In Tamron Hall style, she went on air and acted like the classy professional that she is," a source said. 

But was she difficult?

Although she's beloved by millions of fans, sources for Radar Online allege Hall wasn't exactly so sweet when the cameras weren't rolling. "She was very difficult," the source said. "She could have an attitude and was sometimes short and rude with the staff. If you were not Matt Lauer or talent, it could seem like she had no time for you." 

Another insider said, "TV is a cutthroat business and Tamron is one of the best," adding, "Behind her are a long line of people she stepped over to get to the top. She makes friends with the right people and ignores everyone else. But this time she was out played by Kelly." 

A source for People also alleged that there is "bad blood" between Hall and NBC. 

NBC tried to get her to stay

Even as Megyn Kelly was being groomed as the network's next big superstar, NBC reportedly did its part to get Tamron Hall to stay during the awkward transition period. According to People magazine, while Hall's contract was slated to expire in February 2017, the network still tried to keep keep her on, attempting to entice her with a shiny new multi-million dollar deal.

"She was offered a lot of money to stay … and she turned it down," a source revealed to the publication. "She doesn't currently have another offer, but her contract was up. And they offered her a new deal."

A second source told People, "Insiders are surprised that she left." Ya think? Considering that most people would probably jump at the opportunity to rake in a seven-digit salary, we're pretty darn shocked too. We guess the promise of big bucks just wasn't a good enough reason to make the TV journalist want to stay on with the network.

Harvey Weinstein temporarily derailed her comeback...

In July 2017, Hall announced her partnership with yet-to-be-disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein's television wing to develop a daytime talk show that she would host," according to Variety. "My birthday is in two days, and Harvey gave me a birthday gift very early," she told the New York Post of the deal, adding, "I'm just in the happiest place that I've been."

Obviously, her elation would be short-lived. Weinstein's empire crumbled in the wake of the scandal that, as of October 2017, included accusations from 84 women claiming they were sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped by the former film giant. Speaking with HuffPost about the scandal, Hall said she found it "horrifying" and said she phoned Weinstein at 5 a.m. the day The New York Times broke the story for a "take no prisoners" call.

As of this writing, Hall is developing a similar daytime TV project without Weinstein's involvement (more on this in a moment), but she had this to say in regards to the alleged actions of the man who was so close to being her boss: "It's a woman's worst nightmare to be in a situation where you believe someone more powerful has control over your life… I hope today they are comforted by Ashley, Rose, Lauren, Asia, and Mira [some of Weinstein's accusers], women who from the outside have everything but inside behind the closed doors suffered in silence."

...but it didn't take her long to recover

"When one door closes… (say it with me) another one opens!" That's how Tamron Hall announced her new syndicated daytime talk show. The veteran journalist, two years past her employment with NBC, ended up inking her new deal with Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company a.k.a. the parent company of rival network ABC.

"Tamron Hall is the real thing we've been searching for in daytime talk," executive producer Bill Geddie said in a March 2019 statement (via Broadway World). The statement also revealed that Hall will host and executive produce the show called Tamron Hall, and "will be a daily destination for all things topical and a platform for viewers to connect with the people who are shaping our world."

Of her own vision for the show, Hall said in a promotional video shared to Twitter, "I want to extend this very real community to daytime. … I want you to know that I'm in there with you. I'm the girl next door and you're my neighbor — we are all community."

Tamron Hall won't hit the airwaves until September 9, 2019, but it's already showing tremendous promise, as it's "been licensed to stations representing more than 85% of the country," as of this writing (per Broadway World). Oh, and that includes "47 of the top 50 markets." Not too shabby.

She's 'livin' her best life'

NBC took a huge ($69 million) gamble on Megyn Kelly, losing Tamron Hall in the process, but Kelly didn't last long at the network. Just two years into her three-year contract (per CNN), the peacock cut Kelly loose after facing severe backlash from Kelly's now-infamous blackface comments during an October 2018 segment of her show about Halloween costumes.

Naturally, heads swiveled right in Hall's direction, considering how her Today exit seemingly lined up with Kelly's entrance. While she didn't comment directly on Kelly's fall from grace, Hall responded to one Twitter user, who on October 25, 2016, conspicuously asked, "Anyone know what @tamronhall is doing right now?" along with a serious set of side-eye emoji. Hall responded by promoting her new show and her existing Deadline Crime gig. She also added this delicious drop of tea: "and oh 'livin' my best life' … I hope that's enough."

Of course, it's impossible to say whether Hall was trying to toss a dig at Kelly there, but it's also hard to ignore the timing. After all, the next day, Today announced Kelly's "imminent departure" from the show. So, we'll just go ahead and say: Shade, thou haveth a new queen.

It's a good thing she's used to getting up early

With her usual brand of good humor, Tamron Hall announced in March 2019 that she was expecting her first child. "It's clear a daytime talk show isn't the only thing I've been trying to produce!" Hall captioned a series of photos on her Instagram that showcased her baby bump.

Hall revealed to her over 540,000 followers that as of March 1, 2019, she was "in a safe place, at 32 weeks" and wanted to "share [her] joy." According to People, Hall opened up a few times on Today about her desire to be a parent, first during a 2016 segment in which she said "she wished she had 'started the process' of having a child in her 20s." Hall previously wrote about the topic in a 2014 blog for the morning show, where she stated that she was "a person who wants a child someday."

The former Today anchor also posted a video of herself dancing to the child-hypnotic tune "Baby Shark," meaning she's already seriously ahead of the curve, or immune to unrelenting ear worms.  

She stirred up some controversy on Instagram

Hall found herself in a bit of controversy over a November 2017 Instagram post featuring herself posing with a black Santa Claus statue. "Found him early… #christmasseason #familyfun #texas," she captioned the photo.

But that's about where the fun ended after one commenter wrote, "Give it up seriously, a black Santa, talk about racist! Get over the jealousy!" Other commenters piled on until what was a fun holiday photo became a full-on social media race war. "Your [sic] the stupid racist jerk, get some manners and maybe a third grade education!" one commenter wrote. Another chimed in: "Tamron is way above you and you in no way matter with your asinine comments so why don't you go to ho ho Hell!"

Hall never waded into the online scuffle, and it's not really a surprise as to why she didn't. So much for the Christmas spirit, huh?

She's still hosting Deadline Crime

Just because Hall isn't on everyone's TV every morning doesn't mean that she's gone from the airwaves entirely. In June 2018, Investigation Discovery premiered a new season of Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall, the in-depth investigative series focusing on unsolved crimes that she's hosted since 2013.

Speaking with People about the show in 2016, Hall said that part of her motivation for doing Deadline Crime was her own experience with the still unsolved murder of her sister, Renate. Found beaten to death in a pool in 2004, Renate had been in several relationships with abusive men, according to Hall. Her killer was never found, although a former male companion, whom Hall once witnessed abusing Renate, was considered as "the only person of interest in the investigation." He was never arrested, however, "due to lack of evidence."

Hall also works with domestic violence outreach groups Safe Horizon and Day One.