For the second time in under five months, Al Roker was forced to begin Today’s third hour by announcing the sudden departure of a co-host. On Thursday morning, he opened Today’s Take with a heartfelt acknowledgment that Tamron Hall had not renewed her contract with NBC News, saying:
“As some of you may have heard by now, our good friend Tamron Hall has decided to leave NBC News. Personally, Tamron has been not just a co-host here on Today’s Take for the past three years but a good friend — and not just to me, to all of us here. We want to wish her nothing but the best, much continued success and cannot wait to see what her next chapter is.”
Guest co-host Sheinelle Jones added, “She’s going to rock it no matter what she does.” Roker and Dean Cain (lol), the other guest co-host, agreed, and the three moved on.
While the gossip in me was disappointed by Al’s lack of details (he’s far too nice and professional to spill what I presume to be gallons of tea about his horrible bosses, nor would the producers have let him), it was abundantly clear he respected and would miss his colleague. And while the goodbye took just 25 seconds of airtime, that’s seven seconds more than Roker and Hall gave Billy Bush last October.
That goodbye was more of a news report, and was delivered entirely without emotion. Roker and Hall (understandably) talked about Bush like he was just some jerk they’d either never met or wished they hadn’t. They gave him 64 words in 18 seconds (compared to Tamron’s 88 in 25), saying:
Al: As you can see, Billy Bush is not joining us today—as you’re probably aware—part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that’s been in the news all weekend.
Tamron: NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation, pending further review. With that said, let’s turn to last night’s debate, where that 2005 tape played a big role.
I’m looking forward to the day in the near future when Al says something like, “Yeah Megyn Kelly’s gone because of that whole mess last week. And now, here’s Halsey.”