The host, who was booted from the third hour of the morning show following her comments defending blackface while discussing controversial Halloween costumes, was wiped clean from the 9 o’clock hour on Monday. In her place at the top of the show were Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker. Kotb — who practically hosts the entire show at this point — commented briefly on the staff change, saying, “Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show. As it evolves, we want you to know that the entire Today family will continue to bring you informative and important stories just as we always have.” They then transitioned to the big news of the day: the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. (Savannah Guthrie, who was on assignment on Monday, is expected to join the trio hosting the third hour when she returns.)
“Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show as it evolves. We want you to know that the entire TODAY family will continue to bring you informative and important stories, just as we always have.” pic.twitter.com/7xC0tyPdZT
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 29, 2018
While there was news coverage, the show also had a feel-good vibe. Jenna Bush Hager (who was on Megyn Kelly Today when Kelly made her divisive comments last week) spent at least 20 minutes on air, including a segment with a man who suffered a heart attack being reunited with first responders. (Hager also subbed for Kathie Lee Gifford in the 10 o’clock hour.) Roker (who spoke out against Kelly after her comments) also contributed his jovial personality in a segment about Halloween food.
The internet was pretty happy with Kelly’s erasure.
Was the new third hour of #Today anything earth shattering? No. Did it have Megyn Kelly? No.
They’re winning already.
— Mitchell …while BLACK. Douglas (@MLHDouglas) October 29, 2018
@TODAYshow your biggest waste of time and money- investing in Megyn Kelly. Third hour back to it's roots is the way it should always have been.
— 🧘🏻♀️Vicki Winters🚴🏼♀️ (@MyBigFatMouth) October 29, 2018
Working from home today and listening to the Today Show in the background. Al Roker is on and hosting in what would typically be the Megyn Kelly time slot. What a breath of fresh air. SO much better than before.
— 🌊 🏳️🌈 Nate O (@NateOverly) October 29, 2018
Woke up to NBCs @TODAYshow third hour with Al, Craig, and Hoda. Well done NBC, well done! You should have never given Megyn her own show though but you acted quickly.
— Nekesa Straker (@nekesastraker) October 29, 2018
— Kersten Rettig (@KerstenRettig) October 29, 2018
However, there were definitely people who weren’t happy — and some who said they won’t be watching anymore, expressing a lot of displeasure in NBC.
@SavannahGuthrie @alroker as of today I will no longer be part of your audience. I’m not a Megyn Kelly fan but how she was treated by both of you after apologizing and then being lectured on National TV was appalling. She was wrong. Matt Lauer was given more respect by u 2.
— Randy Garver (@mrrandytlgches) October 29, 2018
Forgiveness and understanding is what is needed in the world today more than ever, which is why I believe that NBC owes an apology to Megyn Kelly,
— Al (@Al39096074) October 29, 2018
I’m done with Today. Not liking the way you treat your employees: Anne Curry, Tamron Hall & Megyn Kelly. Seems to be a pattern.
— Rhonda Gentrup (@RhondaGentrup) October 29, 2018
And some thought that the diverse group hosting the show on Monday seemed phony in the wake of the blackface comments.
They bring in women and people of color to clean up after the screw up. How about giving them the $69 million dollar opportunities frim jump!
— Lady Pie de Grue (@DPetagrew) October 29, 2018
— freda bryson (@Brysonfreda) October 29, 2018
Watched 5 min couldnt stand this lame softball tippy toe egg shell shit. You thought Megyn was bad… these guys are like xanax. Pandering to the black crowd. I'm not white or black but the bias is in-your-face. #realnews
— XCal86 (@XCal86) October 29, 2018
That obviously wasn’t a deal-breaker for everyone. Several viewers were celebrating it.
Yaaaaas the Today Show started their third hour with all people of color 🙌🏼
— Christina Floriza (@rhymeswithibiza) October 29, 2018
Though it seems NBC hasn’t fully ironed out who is taking over for Kelly, many had issues with the hosts who are filling in for her in the meantime.
I won’t be watching this show either.
Megyn Kelly is replaced by Jenna Bush Hager on Today
— Maya R. Cummings, Ph.D. (@MayaRockeymoore) October 29, 2018
I was no fan of Megyn and I am a fan of Hoda, but 4 hours of Hoda? No thanks.
— Liz Rankowski (@Liz793698) October 29, 2018
— California Matthew (@EmeryvilleMatty) October 29, 2018
The announcement that Kelly would be leaving Today was made on Friday — three days after her remarks defending blackface aired on the show. Despite an apology email to her colleagues the day it happened as well as an apology to viewers the next day, Kelly was fired from the morning show and is currently negotiating her exit from NBC, for which she’s been earning $23 million a year in a three-year deal. (Her attorney, Bryan Freedman, issued a statement Friday, saying, “Megyn remains an employee of NBC News, and discussions about next steps are continuing.”)
NBC News chief Andy Lack’s future with the network is now being debated, according to reports. He is the one who lured Kelly to NBC from Fox News, where she hosted The Kelly Files, in hopes of expanding the network’s audience, but he openly criticized her at an employee event in the wake of her blackface controversy. Another embarrassment for Lack was parting ways with Ronan Farrow over his reporting on the Harvey Weinstein allegations — only to have Farrow publish his story in the New Yorker and win a Pulitzer Prize.
On Sunday, 25 students from Bethlehem Central High School in upstate New York — the school Kelly attended — wrote a NBC News op-ed taking issue with her controversial comment, “Back when I was a kid, [blackface] was OK just as long as you were dressing as a character.” They wrote, “Those comments definitely do not speak to who we are in Bethlehem or at Bethlehem Central High School, from which she graduated in 1988. Blackface is not acceptable anywhere in America, and it is not acceptable in our town. We weren’t alive when Megyn was in high school but, in the recollection of many of our parents who grew up around here, it was not acceptable even in the 1980s town that she knew.”
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
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