Al RokerLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 11/01/18 at 12:44PM EDT
Al Roker explains why him dressing up as Back to the Future's Doc Brown is not similar to blackface
Source: USA Today
The Today weatherman was asked on social media if he was being a hypocrite for criticizing Megyn Kelly's blackface character while dressing as an iconic white character for Halloween. Roker responded: "I’m going to say this one last time, but the folks who get it, understand and the ones who DON’T, won’t. I can be Doc Brown, and I wear the outfit and wig and not change my skin color if you’re white , you can be President Obama if you want. Just don’t color your skin!"
Posted Monday 10/29/18 at 12:43PM EDT
Today's third hour kicks off its post-Megyn Kelly era
”We are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show,” Hoda Kotb began the 9 a.m. hour, titled Today Third Hour, joined by Craig Melvin and Al Roker. Megyn Kelly's name wasn't mentioned. (Savannah Guthrie was in Pittsburgh to report on Saturday's synagogue shooting.) As Variety reports, "to ease the transition, NBC had Jenna Bush Hager stationed in Studio 6A, the studio that has been used to broadcast Megyn Kelly Today live. She picked up host duties after the show’s first 20 minutes. Producers wanted to close the first two hours as they always have – from the home base, Studio 1A – so they kicked off the 9 a.m. hour there." Hager was joined by Melvin and Roker as they did live segments about cooking and Halloween before a studio audience. Kelly's old set is expected to be used for much of Today's third hour going forward. As Lloyd Grove notes, "the drama surrounding Kelly—which had overwhelmed cable and social media for most of last week—was very much beside the point on Monday. Perhaps unavoidably, the inaugural Megyn-less program was a strange hodgepodge of grave foreboding and forced bonhomie."
Posted Saturday 10/27/18 at 7:21AM EDT
Megyn Kelly Today's cancelation puts a spotlight on Tamron Hall's awkward exit
Source: The Washington Post
The decision to drop the Al Roker and Tamron Hall co-hosted hour of Today for Megyn Kelly was so abrupt that Hall didn't get a chance to say goodbye. "Regardless of when and how she found out, fans of Hall were not pleased, particularly since she was the first black female anchor on Today and her replacement had previous controversies surrounding race," recounts Elahe Izadi. Hall appeared to be embarrassed late this week when Soledad O'Brien mocked the whole situation after Hall presented her with an award. “Tamron, you have a new talk show coming. Congrats for that,” O’Brien said. “But didn’t you used to do a show . . . The Today show, right? And how were those ratings? And your feelings on blackface? Yes or no?"
Posted Friday 10/26/18 at 5:20AM EDT
Al Roker is the odds-on favorite to take over the 9 a.m. Today slot from Megyn Kelly, at least temporarily
The Today weatherman could return to the timeslot he shared with Tamron Hall. "NBC’s Today show weatherman-and-so-much-more Al Roker is odds-on fave to step in to Kelly’s 9 AM weekday Today time slot," according to Deadline, "at least on an interim basis. It makes sense, as he was one of the Today time slot’s two co-hosts – Tamron Hall was the other – for several years, until NBC shoveled out $70M to land the Fox News Channel primetime star, giving her the hour." ALSO: Tamron Hall and Al Roker were all smiles in a photo she posted to Twitter Thursday night -- without referencing the Kelly scandal.
Posted Wednesday 10/24/18 at 10:24AM EDT
Megyn Kelly's Today colleagues pillory her over her blackface comments
“The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is our history," Al Roker said on Today hours before Kelly's on-air apology. After Savannah Guthrie called it an "uncomfortable" situation, fellow Today colleague Craig Melvin called it "silly" and "disingenuous" to dismiss the controversy as a result of political correctness. "The fact is a lot of folks don’t realize that Jim Crow, short hand for the racist laws that existed in this country for much of the last century, especially in the deep south, the term Jim Crow came from a minstrel show in the 1830s," Melvin said. "It was an opportunity for us to learn more about blackface, but I think a lot of people knew about blackface before yesterday.” ALSO: Don Lemon delivered a stern rebuke of Kelly on CNN.
Posted Monday 10/08/18 at 6:10PM EDT
Al Roker's colleagues showed their support for his Broadway debut
The Today weatherman made his debut in the musical Waitress on Friday night.
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 9:05PM EDT
Al Roker's carpel tunnel surgery couldn't keep him away from Today
Source: Page Six
The Today weatherman showed up with a cast on Today Tuesday morning after scheduling the surgical procedure at the last minute for Monday. Roker says his carpal tunnel resulted in him losing use of his thumb while rehearsing for Broadway's Waitress. He'll make his Broadway debut on Friday night, playing the diner owner.
Posted Wednesday 9/05/18 at 11:03AM EDT
Al Roker to make his Broadway debut in Waitress
The Today weatherman will join the Broadway cast for a limited engagement, from Oct. 5 to Nov. 11. "I'm nervous and excited to be making my Broadway debut in such a Pie-conic show," says Roker. "My character's name is Old Joe, so I've got half of it down already. And there's pie every night!" Roker will participate in six performances weekly, but there's no word on how he'll be able to juggle Waitress with his Today job.
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 12:16PM EDT
Animal Planet to tell stories of Celebrity Animal Encounters
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Kristen Bell, Danny Trejo, Whitney Cummings, Al Roker, Justin Hartley, Moby and other celebrities will each recount an unexpected run-in with an animal on the upcoming series.
Posted Tuesday 6/05/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Al Roker's bike was stolen across the street from NBC's Today studios
Source: Page Six
"To the person who stole my red @iamspecialized #bike from in front of @SIRIUSXM I hope you really needed it,” the Today star tweeted this afternoon. He later regretted venting his frustration on Twitter, tweeting "let's all move on."
Posted Wednesday 4/25/18 at 1:14PM EDT
Report: NBC's $69 million "bet" on Megyn Kelly is "backfiring"
The former Fox News star was brought in to bring a bigger audience to Today, but has instead "dragged down" the "critical franchise," according to an article in this morning's Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports that affiliates are unhappy with the ratings drop and NBC staffers are "grumbling" about Kelly's "lofty budget." Still, NBC News says Megyn Kelly Today is profitable. For her part, Kelly says "our show is a baby. We’re six months old," adding: “I need to introduce myself to people who don’t know me or know some bastardized version of me that they’ve gotten from a website or a TV show. There are definitely some who only know me through some caricature they learned about on The Daily Show.” ALSO: 9 a.m. Today predecessors Al Roker and Tamron Hall earned less than half of Kelly's salary and had much better ratings.
Posted Tuesday 2/27/18 at 5:23PM EST
Josh Duhamel caught a mouse in the Today show green room
"Josh Duhamel, you caught the green room mouse?" said Al Roker in an Instagram video. "We got him!"
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 2:12PM EST
NBC blames a "technical error" for not labeling Al Roker's Today show Intel ad as sponsored content
Source: Ad Week
In what looked like a regular news story this morning, Roker touted Intel's use of virtual reality in this year's Winter Olympics without labeling the segment as an ad. NBC corrected the error for later feeds.
Posted Wednesday 1/03/18 at 6:00PM EST
Why Hoda Kotb isn’t making Matt Lauer’s salary: “TV thrives on paying new people in old positions significantly less”
There are exceptions like Megyn Kelly, but salaries usually grow the longer a person stays in a particular position. That's according to Brian Steinberg, who explains why, in her new role as Today co-anchor, Kotb will be earning $7 million, compared to predecessor Lauer's reported $25 million a year. “While the optics of the financial arrangement have spurred a very worthwhile and necessary discussion about compensation parity among men and women in the media business,” he says, “the simple fact is that Kotb is being treated much like almost any other anchor or host who takes over a coveted and long-held post on a venerable TV program. TV networks often see opportunity in such transitions, because it typically means a cutback in salary outlay. It’s a fair gamble, for example, that Stephen Colbert wasn’t given David Letterman’s salary upon taking over CBS’ Late Show, or that Trevor Noah was not immediately handed Jon Stewart’s financial arrangement upon being given the reins to Comedy Central’s Daily Show. Lauer, no doubt, wasn’t immediately festooned with Bryant Gumbel’s paycheck when he graduated to a Today co-anchor slot in 1997.”
- Kotb tells People: "I'm not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close”
- Why neither Matt Lauer nor Hoda Kotb deserve to making $25 million a year
- Kotb has “overperformed” in her role, having worked at NBC News for 20 years while bringing big numbers to Today's 10 a.m. hour for a decade
- Kotb deserves a larger salary since she’s "pulling double duty” as she continues co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour
- TV veterans say Kotb’s promotion was “not that complicated” and “there was no one else”
- Al Roker shuts down a Twitter troll who wanted “a seasoned man” to replace Matt Lauer
Posted Thursday 11/30/17 at 6:27AM EST
Today will never be the same, especially with its notion of “family”
For years, promoted the fiction that the Today show was like family with its “manufactured conviviality,” which “NBC played into that by steadily creating cults of personality around its anchors,” says Sonia Saraiya. “And yet," she adds, "Wednesday morning, turning on Today brought the sexual harassment movement right to your home, whether you wanted it or not. Now that we all know about Matt Lauer’s secret button that locked the door behind unsuspecting women he called into his office, the illusion of a happy television family is hard to believe in. Now the viewing audience has to reckon with the fact that the man they knew and watched for 20 years is, according to the company who made his career and the co-anchor who still calls herself his friend, a predator.”
- NBC must race to save its cash cow: GMA barely beat Today in the key demo in November sweeps
- Should NBC promote from within? Or pick somebody from CNBC or MSNBC?
- 10 potential Lauer replacements: Brian Williams? Ann Curry? Carson Daly? George Stephanopoulos!?
- Padma Lakshmi was scheduled to do a cooking segment Wednesday with Lauer: “When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died”
- Watch Charlie Rose awkwardly ask Matt Lauer and Katie Couric about their chemistry