‘Today’ alum nods to genre tradition in offering something new
Q: How hard was it to develop and place “Tamron Hall” in an already active daytime-talk landscape?
A: Talk is not like the new “it” bag or the new “it” color. Talk never goes out of style. To be quite honest with you — and this may sound very Kobe Bryant cocky-ish of me — it was the natural love that we have of daytime talk in its traditional space. I have this book called “The Path of Least Resistance,” and it was truthfully the path of least resistance. It was harder to conceive a child than (doing) this.
Q: Which talk shows have you modeled your new venture on?
A: Listen, I am a student of Mike Douglas. When I walked into Disney and showed them my dream clips, it was when John (Lennon) and Yoko (Ono) co-hosted “The Mike Douglas Show.” It was (Muhammad) Ali on with Sly Stone, and they’re arguing with this congressman over some of the same things we talk about today … and then the next thing you know, they break out into fun.
For me, it was that traditional energy of talk that we now associate with so many other names, from Phil Donahue to Oprah to Rolonda Watts, who was on for four seasons. She left daytime talk; it didn’t leave her. We were having lunch and ran into Ricki Lake. It’s Jenny (Jones). I lived in Chicago, the home of talk — so for me, it was just a natural, layered experience in creating this and what we saw as the opening.
Q: What’s your overall approach to “Tamron Hall”?
A: We have a saying in the South, “Fair exchange, no robbery.” If you’re going to come into our home, we want to have a fair exchange rather than you come out (and say), “Hey, here’s my product, and let me move on.”