*Apparently, Prince is the reason why we saw Savannah Guthrie filling in for Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News” Thursday instead of Tamron Hall.
According to Page Six, Hall was supposed to pinch hit Thursday as well as tonight, but the network pulled her from both days when the medical examiner’s report on Prince’s cause of death was leaked early Thursday. Hall and Prince were close friends, and NBC honchos thought her reporting of the story would represent a conflict of interest for viewers:
A source told us, “Tamron and NBC News execs discussed it and decided together it was best for her to not fill in [Thursday or Friday]. She’s been open about her friendship with Prince, so for her, this is more than a news story. She’ll fill in again soon.”
Hall has recalled of her last talk with the singer: “He assured me he was OK . . . He kept saying he was fine and asked me to come to Paisley [Park] . . . It was a sweet moment, and I had no idea it would be our last time talking. I never imagined it.”
A source told us, “She’s told colleagues she had never seen him use drugs, or saw signs of it.”