While Matt Lauer is busy licking his still fresh wounds from being fired because he was a serial perpetrator of sexual misconduct in the workplace, his now-former NBC bosses at the “Today” show have been busy searching for his replacement. And by busy, we mean they must be at least thinking about it despite the morning show’s ratings soaring since Lauer’s ouster.
But beyond every gray cloud awaits bright rays of sunshine, and this instance is no different as NBC now has the opportunity to turn lemons to lemonade and at the same time boost its already commendable company diversity by putting a Black person next to Savannah Guthrie in the anchor’s seat that once belonged to Lauer.
Luckily for NBC, there is no shortage of Black journalistic excellence to choose from, both under the peacock‘s umbrella as well as industry-wide, although newsroom diversity numbers clearly suggest otherwise.
Of everybody on the list of potential Lauer successors, Melvin has been rumored to be the front-runner. The 38-year-old co-anchored the weekend “Today” show before his current perch anchoring “MSNBC Live.” We here at NewsOne are admittedly biased since Melvin has previously worked with our television sister station TVOne, but he’s also won two Emmy Awards and is responsible for “a series on the future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” showing his permanent addition to “Today” would be the epitome of a diverse choice for the role.
This is a long shot, given how NBC chased the former “Today” show anchor out of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to make room for the lighter-hued Megan Kelly. NBC was reportedly in a “total panic” after she left because people of color, women and younger audiences weren’t interested in watching Kelly’s morning show. If she were to return, her institutional knowledge of the “Today” show’s operations would make for a seamless fit moving into the new year. But if “if” was a spliff, we’d all be high, now wouldn’t we?
Jones has co-anchored the weekend “Today” show along with Craig, has been a weekday news correspondent for “Today” and has been part of the morning show’s family since 2014. While not exactly a household name, she’s “got the needed chops if NBC opts to go low-key,” according to Vulture.
Much like with Tamron Hall, Hoda would be a natural fit considering that she previously held down that role of “Today” anchor before having to do it again after Lauer was fired last week. Not to mention, it would be icing on her cake since she was reportedly “thrilled” to see Lauer go. Chances are, though, she’s just a temporary fix before she is reassigned full-time to offering wine-soaked morning banter with Kathie Lee Gifford.
Everyone’s favorite meteorologist around your neck of the woods would be a surprise move to fill Lauer’s vacant spot, but the portly predictor has long shown an appetite for moving beyond the weather. Roker has done a number of reported pieces that have nothing to do with the forecast, and the “Today” website has described him as a “feature anchor.”
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