Tamron Hall Talks Leaving the Today Show, Jokes About Megyn Kelly's Reported Multimillion Payout
"They wanted something that wasn’t me," Tamron Hall said
During an appearance at the 2019 Vulture Festival on Saturday, the Tamron Hallhost, 49, recalled what went into her decision to depart the network back in February 2017, after NBC announced she was losing her time slot co-hosting Today‘s third hour at 9 a.m. to Megyn Kelly.
Asked about it at the Mailchimp Presents Going Through It Live panel, Hall described the experience as “painful, but survivable,” Vulture reported — specifically because NBC’s switch-up had nothing to do with Hall’s performance.
“They wanted something that wasn’t me,” Hall told moderator Tracy Clayton.
Hall was offered a chance to remain at NBC in another role, but the longtime journalist — who had previously held positions at MSNBC Live and Dateline — opted to walk away.
“It wasn’t that I did not know my value. It’s that others did not know my value,” Hall said. “It was an easy decision, because there was no other decision to make.”
“At some point in all of our lives, the goalpost keeps getting moved to the point it’s invisible,” she continued. “And I’m not into being Charlie Brown to anyone’s Lucy, so I wasn’t going to keep kicking that football.”
Kelly had a brief tenure with NBC, her Today show hour canceled in October 2018 after she received immense backlash for questioning during a segment whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume was actually racist.
She apologized for her comments before her exit from NBC was later finalized in January 2019.
The 9 a.m. Today show hour has since been taken over by Craig Melvin, Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones.
While Hall didn’t address Kelly by name during her Vulture Festival appearance, she did reportedly make a jab at the former Fox News anchor’s reported sizable payout from NBC.
“I did not have a $69 million dollar contract,” Hall said. “No shade to anybody who does. If you do, give me a loan!”
Hall has since returned to TV in her own self-titled syndicated ABC talk show.
“I feel at peace,” she told PEOPLE back in September. “I feel that I have an amazing team and we have put thought and purpose and care into creating this show. We think about the audience and we think about the people who raised us, we think about our friends, we think about those who will watch the show more than we’re thinking about ourselves.”
In fact, she said she’s never been happier.
“I feel fortunate and I feel it’s a reminder to everyone to not give up on your dreams and to bet on yourself,” Hall told PEOPLE. “I’m very grateful.”