NBC “Today” show Host Tamron Hall is leaving the network after finding out that the 9am hour team was being replaced by former Fox News Political Commentator Megyn Kelly.
Kelly’s 9 p.m. show was the second-highest rated in cable news, behind the “O’Reilly Factor.” Trump’s attacks on Kelly during the campaign helped turn her into an international celebrity.
When the 46 year old Journalist announced she’d be leaving Fox for NBC back in January, many speculated on who the network would be pushing out in order to make room for their new anchor.
News broke last week that Kelly would be replacing Tamron Hall and her co-anchor Al Roker, just moments before the team went live on air.
Blindsided, Hall has decided to leave the network when her contract expires this month, despite being offered a multimillion dollar contract to stay.
“She was offered a lot of money to stay … a new multi-year, multi-million dollar deal to stay at the Today show and MSNBC and she turned it down,” a source tells PEOPLE about Hall’s exit. “She doesn’t currently have another offer, but her contract was up. And they offered her a new deal.”
“Insiders are surprised that she left,” one source close the situation tells PEOPLE, despite many fans’ decision to voice their disappointment on Twitter after the Kelly announcement.
“Tamron has been anchoring all over the network in the past few weeks, filling in for Savannah Guthrie and for Lester Holt in addition to MSNBC,” says the source. “And just a few days ago, she received an email from the executive producer congratulating the 9 a.m. team for being No. 1 for the last seven weeks. Then on Friday, minutes before going on MSNBC they told her that she and Al are being taken off the air.”
Adds the insider: “She couldn’t believe they told her right before she had to go on air. She was definitely shocked.”
Still, says the insider, “In Tamron Hall style, she went on air and acted like the classy professional that she is.”
Hall joined MSNBC and NBC in 2007 and became part of the Today team in 2014 as a co-anchor of Today’s Take, the morning show’s third hour. Hall also anchored MSNBC Live, a daily news program airing at 11 a.m. on MSNBC.
In the statement released Wednesday, Hall said, “The last 10 years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. I’m also very excited about the next chapter. To all my great colleagues, I will miss you and I will be rooting for you.”
Sources add that Al Roker, who has been a mainstay at NBC since has not been demoted, is still a integral part of the show and has a long term contract.
“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,” he said this morning on ‘Today’. “We want to wish her nothing but the best, much continued success and cannot wait to see what her next chapter is.”