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Black journalists group accuses NBC of ‘whitewashing’

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The National Association of Black Journalists is slamming NBC for Tamron Hall’s abrupt departure on Wednesday, accusing the network of  “whitewashing” to make way for Fox News star Megyn Kelly’s arrival.

NBC hired Kelly away from Fox earlier this year in a deal that may have led to Hall’s departure. Hall had co-hosted the third hour of “Today” with Al Roker since 2014, a time slot Kelly is expected to take over.

“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.

{mosads}The organization has requested to meet 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 named to the position in 2014. She had been with MSNBC since 2007.

Kelly is expected to make her debut with NBC in the fall. She’s under contract with Fox News until July, but signed off from the network in early January after announcing her decision to jump to NBC.

Kelly is reportedly 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.

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Black Journalists is “an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide,” according to the group’s webpage. 

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.”

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