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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Pop culture

Megyn Kelly’s predecessors on ‘Today’ get together at Broadway show

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 27, 2018, 5:43 p.m.

By Kate Stanhope Los Angeles Times

Hours before NBC News gave Megyn Kelly’s morning show the ax, her “Today” show predecessors Tamron Hall and Al Roker reunited Thursday night.

Hall tweeted a photo with Roker on the set of the Broadway production of “Waitress,” where Roker is in the midst of a limited engagement playing diner owner Joe. A Broadway tour of “Waitress” will make a stop in Spokane in December.

Hall and Roker were two of the most frequent co-hosts during the third hour of “Today” (along with Willie Geist, who now hosts the Sunday edition, and Natalie Morales, who is now the show’s West Coast anchor.)

However, when NBC News lured Kelly from Fox News with a lucrative multiyear contract in January 2017, talks soon began about her taking over the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show. Less than a month later, Hall left after a decade at NBC News.

“The last 10 years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful,” Hall said in a statement at the time. “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.”

Her exit, and its connections to Kelly’s arrival, drew uproar from viewers and the National Association for Black Journalists, which accused NBC of “whitewashing” in a statement the day after Hall’s departure.

“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 at the time.

Since then, Hall has been working on launching her own talk show – albeit hitting some unexpected bumps along the way. She signed a TV deal with the Weinstein Co. in July 2017 to develop her own daytime talk show – three months before co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape in reports by the New York Times and the New Yorker.

Hall more recently signed a deal with Disney-ABC in August to develop a daytime syndicated series to begin as soon as fall 2019.

Meanwhile, Roker has continued his long run on the “Today” show (albeit in the earlier hours). The day after Kelly’s controversial on-air comments about blackface, made during a segment on Halloween costumes, Roker voiced his tough take on the air.

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