*NBC’s Tamron Hall was announced this morning as an official co-host of “Today’s Take,” the “Today” show’s 9 p.m. hour, joining fellow co-hosts Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist.
“We’re really excited to officially welcome Tamron into the ‘Today’ family,” said Don Nash, Executive Producer. “She brings wit, enthusiasm and a keen sensibility to an all-around fantastic team, and I think Tamron, Al, Natalie and Willie will have a lot of fun together hosting the third hour.”
Hall, who will continue hosting MSNBC’s “NewsNation,” was a regular fill-in host on ‘Today’ and most recently interviewed Hugh Jackman, Mariah Carey, and Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom for the program. She has also been a familiar face in ‘Today’s’ #OrangeRoom.
Tamron Hall, Host of “Deadline: Crime,” speaks onstage during the ‘Investigation Discovery – Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall’ panel at the Discovery Communications portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2014 in Pasadena
*Tamron Hall made headlines last week after a television critic at Investigation Discovery’s TCA panel for “Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall” coldly and inexplicably dismissed her story about her sister’s unsolved murder because it wasn’t the answer to his question.
“That’s all very nice. But can you explain the relationship between your job at NBC and your job at Discovery?” he said to the 43-year-old MSNBC anchor.
As previously reported, she checked him with, “Well, let me be clear. To say that
it’s just all very nice, when I don’t know if you’ve had a sister found murdered, but I have. So it is not meant to be nice, it is simply me sharing my own…”
“I am simply trying to get an answer to a simple question,” the critic interrupted. “What is your work relationship with NBC and your work relationship with Discovery? How do you apportion your time, and how did that come to pass?”
*NBC’s “Today” will try to revive its ratings with a look back to when it first turned the tide against rival “Good Morning America.”
On Dec. 30, former co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley will return to co-anchor the morning show. The pair sat at the desk during the 80s, when it found itself second to ABC’s “GMA” in the ratings. Their combination is now credited with putting “Today” back on top eventually, according to Deadline.com.
*The “Today” show apologized for a joke aired on Wednesday morning’s broadcast that riffed on the news that the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral used fake signs during world leaders’ remarks.
During their segment on the story, an inset image of some random man mimicking the motions of sign language to interpret the hosts’ words appeared onscreen for several seconds on Today.
The hosts appear to immediately recognize that the joke was in poor taste. “No, guys, let’s not do that,” said host Natalie Morales as soon as the image appeared onscreen. “No, no, wrong,” added Al Roker, who covered his face with his hands.
“We aired a joke in our 9:00 hour that was offensive. We apologize to our viewers,” the show later wrote on its official Twitter account.
The online clip that Today posted on its website shows a different angle than the widely circulated YouTube clip showing the incident (below, via New York Daily News). Only the audible reactions of Morales and Roker can be heard in the official “Today” clip.
In the same segment, Morales tried to defend the look on Michelle Obama’s face while her husband was taking the infamous selfie with British prime minister David Cameron and Denmark’s prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Morales argued that the First Lady wasn’t showing disgust. It was just that some people have a ”bitchy resting face.”
“How many of us have photos taken of us…you just have that bitchy resting face, as we say,” Morales giggled.
“With all due respect to the First Lady,” a surprised Willie Geist interjected.
Hoda Kotb attends Glamour’s 23rd annual Women of the Year awards on November 11, 2013 in New York City
*There was a report Tuesday that “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb “had rejected a compelling deal” to join ABC’s “The View,” opting to stay with the NBC morning show’s fourth hour.
Well, this was news to “View” producers Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie.
“Bill and I have never called her. We have never met her. We have never offered her a compelling deal,” Walters said on the show this morning, refuting the story posted by Capital New York.
“I like her a lot,” Walters continued, before gesturing to her co-hosts and saying, “We are not offering any of you a compelling deal either.”
Capital New York reported that ABC News hoped to put her on ‘The View,’ and also make her an intricate part of the network, but that sources confirmed she was happiest at NBC News, where she’s been since her “Dateline” debut in 1998.
Walters couldn’t even pronounce Hoda’s last name correctly while denying the report this morning. New co-host Jenny McCarthy said Kotb wouldn’t like hosting “The View” anyway, because “we only have water in our cups.” (Kotb and her “Today” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford are famous for sipping wine during their broadcasts.)
“Today” superfan Linny Boyette, a Rockefeller Center fixture, hardly missed a single morning in 20 years.
*You saw him outside of the “Today” show window – rain or shine, sleet or snow – just standing there quietly observing the segments, or pointing to the camera as it sweeps a shot of the crowd.
His name was Linny Boyette, a 71-year-old military veteran who was born in England but lived in the Bronx. He woke up every day at 3:30 a.m. to make sure he could secure his front row spot on the plaza by 5:30 a.m., according to NBC. “It makes my day,” he told “Today” in 2010.
However, health problems earlier this year prevented Boyette from attending the show regularly in his final months. Last week, a friend of Boyette’s told the Today crew that he was gravely ill.
Boyette died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack. The show dedicated a segment to him this morning [Oct. 6].
“Our dear friend, Linny, passed away this weekend,” Al Roker tweeted Monday. “He will be missed. Greatest Today fan ever. Our thoughts and prayers with Linny and family.”
Added Matt Lauer: “Peace Linny. And thank you for your gentle kindness.”
“So saddened to hear of Linny’s passing,” former “Today” host Meredith Vieira tweeted late Sunday. “I always loved seeing him every morning on the plaza. He had a wonderful smile and so sweet.”