Tamron Hall grew up in Luling, Texas, a small town south of Austin, where she sat on a porch and asked probing questions of her family and neighbors on just about anything she could think of. After 25 years on television, she will be doing the same with guests on her own daytime show this fall.
“I had to be very young, maybe 5 or 6, when I would ask ‘whens’ and ‘whys’ to my [family],” Hall said. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was interviewing [them].”
Hall’s eponymous daytime talk show will be nationally syndicated, airing locally on 6ABC, starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 9. The former Today cohost said the show would be built on “sharing experiences through meaningful conversations.”
Hall, 48, isn’t just premiering a new show this year: In March, she took to Instagram to announce that not only was she married to music executive Steven Greener, but that she was 36 weeks pregnant. The following month, she gave birth to a son, Moses.
“So, it’s clear a daytime talk show isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to produce," Hall wrote in the post.
Vulnerability is important to Hall, but she doesn’t see the focus on shared experiences as a “formula or a format.” Rather, she believes that learning about people’s journeys is something she’s always done.
“Right now, there’s a variety of shows on television with Ellen [DeGeneres] and Dr. Phil, but we saw an opening where people come on and have conversations, what the young people [describe] as ‘choppin’ it up,' '" said Hall, who sported a blush, double-breasted linen pantsuit, paired with a hot-pink pointed-toe pump. She believes that her focus on extraordinary stories of ordinary people will be the cornerstone of Tamron Hall.
Hall said she will “meet people where they are and offer them a safe space to talk,” and that the show will cover a variety of topics, from happenings in the news, to fashion segments.
On Tuesday, Hall returned to the place where her journalism career started: Temple University. The school staged a focus group to get an idea of what millennials wanted to see in a daytime talk show. There was a knock at the door and Hall emerged.
“She had such a presence,” said Christiana Dillard, a graduate student who made it to the classroom just as Hall was wrapping up. “It’s very rare that you get to see a person with such a big career be so willing to talk to other people.”
Hall spoke about her career journey and the new show before answering questions from students (and posing for selfies with some).
While Hall has led shows such as MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall and Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall on Investigation Discovery, she left her most high profile gig in 2017 after the segment of the Today show she anchored with Al Roker was canceled, just as Megyn Kelly was hired by NBC for her own hour.
Hall addressed her departure at ABC’s portion of the Television Critics Association’s summer meetings earlier this month.
“Megyn’s success or not, I already knew they made the wrong choice when I left the door,” Hall said. “I would never measure myself against her success or perceived lack thereof … whether that show made it or not, I knew I was making the right decision for me.” Hall’s decision came despite “efforts to keep her, and to expand her role,” Lester Holt told the Inquirer shortly after Hall left the show.
Two years later, Hall is approaching her own show with the lessons she’s learned in television. “My learning curve is not limited to my job," Hall said. “Everything that’s happened during my journey has brought me to this point. And I’m so excited to bring those lessons, those conversations to the show.”
Hall said that her new show might feature people like Meek Mill, but “the conversation wouldn’t stop" with celebrity guests. She plans to also bring on guests who might be inspired by the work Mill is doing on probation reform. Hall wants her viewers to “see themselves” in the show.
“I don’t think I’m Ms. Hall-Vanzant,” she said, referencing Iyanla Vanzant, spiritual life coach and host of OWN Network’s Iyanla: Fix My Life. “I want [viewers] to be able to learn something from a person they’d least expect," Hall said.