*The National Association of Black Journalists is calling out NBC for its treatment of Tamron Hall.
The group released a statement Wednesday accusing the network of “whitewashing” to clear a path for former Fox News star Megyn Kelly, who was hired earlier. Kelly is expected to take over the third hour of “Today,” which Hall had co-hosted with Al Roker since 2014.
“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 group said in a statement.
The organization has requested a meeting with NBC executives to discuss “the top-rated show’s dismantling.”
“We look forward to dialogue and resolve regarding black journalists and their continuing roles at NBC both in front and behind the camera.”
Hall, 46, broke ground as the first black female “Today” co-host when she was promoted to the position in 2014. She had been with MSNBC since 2007.
Kelly’s NBC debut is expected to happen this fall. Her Fox News contract expires in July, but she signed off from the network in early January after announcing her decision to leave.
According to reports, Kelly is making anywhere from $12 million to $15 million with NBC. The 46-year-old former corporate attorney turned down a reported $25 million yearly salary with Fox, citing a desire to not work nights hosting a prime-time program — she hosted a 9 p.m. show called “The Kelly File” — and a need to spend more time with her three young children in afternoon and evening hours instead.
NBC defended itself from the criticism in a statement.
“NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity,” the network said in a statement. “We will continue to engage in the running dialogue we’ve had for many years with the National Association of Black Journalists and other advocacy groups to advance those goals.”