News broke Friday that the third hour of the Today show — the one hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall— has been axed to make room for former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s move to NBC.
Kelly will either take over Today‘s 9 a.m. hour, or Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb‘s 10 a.m. slot. If she does take over Gifford’s and Kotb’s spot, the pair will be bumped to 9 a.m.
Either way, Hall and Roker will be out from their usual sit at the table.
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Kelly will host her own daytime talk show and anchor a Sunday-night news show in addition to taking part in the network’s political programming and other major-event coverage, The New York Times reports.
This news is more than disappointing, since the two most prominent black faces on the show are losing out to accommodate a white conservative with a history of questionable rhetoric with regard to race relations in America. Moreover, this sudden shift also comes as we are already seeing less brown faces at sister network MSNBC (Melissa Harris-Perry lost her show last year, a slot that was later replaced by Joy Reid).
It is also key to note who Hall and Roker are losing their airtime to as a result of this sudden change in the Today Show line up. Megyn Kelly was a prominent face at Fox News, where she brought a well-documented track record of racially insensitive comments that included blaming Sandra Bland for her own death and referring to former First Lady Michelle Obama as a “whiner” for speaking out about racism.
And who can forget the time she went the extra mile to ensure white children that Jesus and Santa were white?
Some have speculated as to whether or not the move was an executive decision based on numbers, but a social media message from Roker just before Friday’s announcement supported the contrary, noting that he and Hall’s segment ratings had never been better.
With Hall’s NBC contract reportedly up next month and no word on what her next move will be as of yet, it’s still anyone’s guess how this peculiar move will play out in the long run for all involved.