It has been 450 days since Tamron Hall walked out of Today’s studio in New York City after learning that she would be losing her spot as host of the NBC morning show’s third hour to the network’s new hire, Megyn Kelly.
In that time Hall has said nothing about about her abrupt exit from NBC News after a decade with the network or how she felt about the decision to replace her on Today with Kelly.
That all changed on Wednesday however, when Hall made it very clear how she felt about NBC by posting a photo of herself driving by Today with the caption: ‘Heyyyyyy!’
Hall’s tweet was more about the context than content though, as she broke her silence just two hours after it was revealed that the third hour of Today had been pulling in fewer viewers and been less profitable ever since the arrival of Kelly.
This masterclass of shade was made all the more remarkable by the fact that it was 15 months in the making, with Hall waiting until just the right moment to strike.
The shade of it Hall: Tamron Hall shared a photo of herself driving by Today with the caption ‘Heyyyyyy’ (above) two hours after a report detailed NBC ratings were down
Tank girl: The third hour of Today is down double digits in overall viewers and the key demo of adults aged 25 to 54 ever since Megyn Kelly took over as host
Hall and Al Roker were comfortably in first place and delivering solid ratings for Today when the decision was made to move Kelly into the third hour.
That move came just as Hall’s contract was up, and she ultimately decided not to resign with NBC News and instead walkout.
It was a shocking departure for the woman who had long been one of the hardest working personalities on the network, who on some days filled in for both Savannah Guthrie on Today and Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News while also anchoring the third hour of Today.
On one day in December 2016 she filled in for both Guthrie and Holt while also hosting MSNBC Live and doing her third hour duties.
She also hosted Deadline: Crime on Investigation Discovery and Dateline Extra on MSNBC, as well as lending her on-air talents to NBC’s coverage of the Westminster Dog Show.
Roker anchored the third hour with Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dryer in the wake of Hall’s departure, which also proved to be a winning combination.
Unlike Hall however, the meteorologist already had a steady gig on Today when he learned the news about Kelly’s arrival, appearing on the program’s first two hours
The third hour had topped its timeslot for seven straight weeks when the news was delivered to Hall and Roker that Kelly would be taking over for them, and making a whole lot more money.
DailyMail.com revealed last year that Kelly is signed to a three-year contract valued at $69 million, close to 20 times what her predecessor Hall was paid and double the combined salary of Hall and Roker.
This sizable investment has resulted in a program that averages 2.4 million viewers an episode, which is 18 percent below what the hour was pulling in last season according to data from Nielsen.
Things get worse when it comes to the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54, where the show is down 28 percent from last season.
The fourth hour featuring Hoda and Kathie Lee, is down 6 percent overall and 19 percent in the key demo per Nielsen.
Back in the day: The original lineup for the recamped third hour of Hall, Roker and Natalie Morales (above in early 2016)
This has been good news however for Live With Kelly and Ryan, with the syndicated show that is up against. Kelly and Ryan managed to double its lead by 747,000 viewers in markets where it is up against the NBC morning show.
Sources close to the Megyn show also claim that it is less profitable than its predecessor.
Kelly’s declining ratings already led the network to end her news magazine Megyn Kelly Tonight last summer, weeks before its run had ended, and after a brief uptick in viewers earlier this year thanks to the Olympics her Today hour has also started to plummet.
Those numbers are now having a negative impact on the fourth hour of Today, which is also dropping in total viewers.
There is also the fact that NBC has built Kelly a $10 million studio and is funding the show to the tune of $30 million annually reports the Wall Street Journal.
An NBC spokesperson responded to the report in the Journal by stating that Kelly’s show is profitable.
This is just the latest headache for NBC involving the third hour of Today.
It all began when the network made the decision to fire Billy Bush for his role in the infamous p****gate tape, a hot mic audio recording of him and President Donald Trump taken during his Access Hollywood years.
He was just weeks into his new $10-million contract with Today at the time, having made the move to New York from Los Angeles.
Hall was the next to go, though her exit was a far bigger surprise.
‘Tamron is an exceptional journalist, we valued and enjoyed her work at TODAY and MSNBC and hoped that she would decide to stay,’ NBC News said in a statement one day after she left.
‘We are disappointed that she has chosen to leave, but we wish her all the best.’
A source familiar with the discussions between Hall and the network told DailyMail.com at the time that Hall was offered a salary increase, despite losing her slot on Today.
‘NBC News very much wanted Tamron to stay, she was offered a multi-million dollar/multi-year contract and she chose to go,’ noted that source.
Megyn Kelly meanwhile is dismissing any concern, telling the Journal: ‘Our show is a baby. We’re six months old. Morning TV is obviously new to me and I’m figuring it out as we go…I think any show needs about a year to just find its footing.’
She then added that NBC had given her a ‘long leash,’ and noted: ‘I’m proud of the journalistic work we’ve been accomplishing. The ratings are important, there’s no question, but it’s not the only metric.’
One of those other metrics she is no doubt referring to are awards, with the show landing a Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Informative Talk Show.
Those awards will be handed out this weekend, and pit Kelly against Steve Harvey, Dr. Oz, Larry King and the The Chew.
Kelly responds to the short life of her news magazine, which has now been reduced to occasional specials, by explaining: ‘I don’t think I fully appreciated how much work the morning show was going to be and how many hours it was going to require of me.’