Tamron Hall

Keli Goff | 9/4/2013, 11:35 a.m.
Tamron Hall is one of the busiest women in the news business. Already the chief anchor for MSNBC’s NewsNation with ...

For me in my journey, I’ve been on TV since I was 18, and I’m now 42. I see more people of color than I ever have. That doesn’t mean that we’re at some perfect level. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying diversity needs to be discussed on all levels — who is being hired as a producer, as an executive, but it cannot be an obsession focused on the media.

This obsession of what the news looks like has to be broadened out, and I mean that from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. I was just reading about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, but that’s maybe not as sexy as how many people of color are on air. You can count how many brown anchors there are, but companies are not taken to task in the same way media is for a lack of diversity, even in companies that are bringing in far more money and have a larger economic impact than the daily newscast.

That’s not to say it’s not important. It is, and MSNBC has done an exceptional job in diversity, which is why we’ve seen a spike in our ratings among African American viewers, but the conversation can’t be an obsession with the media. It has to be discussed on a broader scale.

I heard that you’re friends with Prince Nelson, also known as the superstar Prince. Any thoughts on his new album cover for Breakfast Can Wait featuring Dave Chappelle?

He’s incredibly funny. He’s such a funny person. I’m just happy people are starting to see there are many sides to that complex individual — including [that] he’s got quite a sense of humor.

Keli Goff is a special correspondent for The Root, in which this story first appeared.