‘Today Show:’ Why Were These Three Anchors Left Out of the Anniversary Montage?
Last week, NBC’s Today Show celebrated 25 years of hosting the show from Studio 1A off New York’s famous Rockefeller Plaza. To commemorate the occasion, the morning news program showed a five-and-a-half-minute montage of major highlights on Today since broadcasting from the location began, which included major news stories and the work of the show’s anchors, including Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Craig Melvin, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Yet while they were showing clips spanning 1994 to the present, there were clearly some major anchors during that time period that didn’t make the cut for the tribute. Though reasons for some to be left out of the tribute video are somewhat obvious, that isn’t the case across the board. This has led to speculation for the omissions.
In November 2017, the Today Show was rocked by the firing of its main anchor Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior at work, as reported by USA Today. Lauer was the news reader on the morning news program in 1994 and rose through the ranks to become co-anchor in 1997. While one could argue that NBC made the correct decision in leaving Lauer out of the montage due to the reason for his firing, some viewers saw it as the network’s way of trying to rewrite history.
“Glad I’m not the only one disappointed that you left Matt Lauer out in your look back at 25 years on the Plaza. He deserved to lose his job BUT you can’t erase the huge role he played on “Today” during his 20+ years doing the news then hosting. You can’t rewrite history, @nbc,” one Twitter user posted. Another Twitter user wrote, “Erasing history guys? There was a ‘Matt Lauer’ there for a couple of years.”
Still, some praised NBC’s decision. “Shout out to the @TODAYshow editors for putting together an impressive piece celebrating 25 Years of Studio 1A without any footage Matt Lauer. You all are the real MVPs,” a Twitter user posted.
Fans of the Today Show also noticed the omission of former anchor Ann Curry in the tribute. Curry, who Guthrie replaced, left the show in a highly publicized exit in 2012. According to the 2017 article in Vulture, the blame was put on Lauer for how Curry was forced out, leaving viewers with a bad taste in their mouths on how Curry was treated. Some speculate that having her in the montage would have stirred up negative memories for the network.
In 2018, Curry had said that she “wasn’t surprised” about the allegations against Lauer, according to USA Today.
A steady presence in Today’s third hour, Tamron Hall’s sudden departure saddened and surprised fans. Though much wasn’t said of the exit at the time in February 2017, many speculated her leaving was due to the hiring of Megyn Kelly. Hall recently spoke of the situation to George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America, according to Deadline.
“They made [Kelly] an offer she shouldn’t refuse. And they made me an offer I could refuse,” Hall said of negotiations with NBC. “The last week I was on Today, I filled in for Savannah Guthrie, who’d gone on maternity leave. I filled in for Lester Holt [on NBC Nightly News], all while I was doing my MSNBC show plus shooting Deadline Crime. So I’m putting in all the work and then I’m told, ‘It doesn’t matter that you came in every time we called. We want something else.’ I wasn’t that ‘something else.’”
While Hall clearly was stung by the outcome, it looks like things are on the upswing for her both personally and professionally. She recently married boyfriend Steven Greener and gave birth to her first child, son Moses, as Deadline reports. Hall will also be heading her own syndicated daytime talk show starting in September of this year.
Though there have been no concrete explanations for deleting these three major anchors from the Today Show anniversary tribute, viewers seem to be very confident in their own conclusions.