Following news that anchor Tamron Hall left NBC amid a restructure that will put recently hired Megyn Kelly front and center at the network, a prominent organization has claimed that NBC is “whitewashing” the news.
The National Association for Black Journalists said that they were “saddened” by Hall’s departure and what it would mean for the TV news landscape.
“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 organization said in a statement.
NABJ cited a tweet from Hall’s cohost, Al Roker, that their program was a ratings success. They also alleged that Kelly had a “history of offensive remarks regarding people of color.”
The statement concluded with a request to NBC that they meet with members of the organization.
According to the New York Daily News, the network has since defended their position.
“NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity,” NBC officials said.”We will continue to engage in the running dialogue we’ve had with the National Association of Black Journalists and other advocacy groups to advance those goals.”
In a statement about her departure, Hall thanked NBC for her ten years at the network.
“The last 10 years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful […] 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,” she said.
Reports circulated that Hall turned down a huge contract as NBC made efforts to keep her.