vulture festival 2019

Tamron Hall Looks Back On Losing the Today Show: ‘They Wanted Something That Wasn’t Me’

Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for New York Magazine

In the run-up to the premiere of her new day time talk show, Tamron Hall is looking back at her departure from NBC after her Today hour with Al Roker was yanked in lieu of Megyn Kelly’s now-defunct morning show. On Saturday, the long-time journalist joined host Tracy Clayton at Mailchimp Presents Going Through It Live at Vulture Festival. During the event, Hall described the experience as painful, but survivable, since the network’s decision ultimately had nothing to do with her performance or her well-rated show. “It was a specific reason: They wanted something that wasn’t me,” explained Hall.

“At some point in all of our lives, the goalpost keeps getting moved to the point it’s invisible,” she continued. “And I’m not into being Charlie Brown to anyone’s Lucy, so I wasn’t going to keep kicking that football.” While Hall didn’t call out Megyn Kelly by name, she did joke about Kelly’s massive multimillion-dollar payout following her expulsion from NBC after defending blackface on-air: “I did not have a $69 million-dollar contract. No shade to anybody who does. If you do, give me a loan!”

Following Hall’s ouster from Today, she opted not to take a deal that would have placed her elsewhere at NBC, a decision she said amounted to putting herself above a specific job or network. “It wasn’t that I did not know my value. It’s that others did not know my value,” she explained. “It was an easy decision, because there was no other decision to make.” Concluded Hall, when considering what advice she will give her baby son, Moses, with regards to work, she says she’ll tell him to bet on himself above all else: “In the end, they’re gonna quit you, or you have to quit them.”

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Tamron Hall on NBC: ‘They Wanted Something That Wasn’t Me’