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Exclusive: Tom Llamas opens up about his new NBC News talk show and his pandemic struggles

Catch him on anything with a screen

Ahad Sanwari

NBC News stalwart Tom Llamas has entered the streaming wars with a brand new evening news show on NBC News NOW.

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Whether it's through fearless reporting for ABC News and NBC, or his frequent appearances on the Today Show alongside Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, he's ensuring that he takes news to the next level.

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With the launch of his show Top Story, Tom hopes to expand our understanding of news and news stories.

"Think of it as a news playlist of the day's top stories but also stories that may not be on your news radar that are interesting and developing," he says in an exclusive chat with HELLO!. "I want the show to inform, inspire, but also be interesting."

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He talks of the broad reach of the show and how that'll make it stand out from the competition. "It will showcase the extreme reach of NBC News and our reporting teams. We will take the viewers to all the big stories of the day not only in the US but all over the world.”

The Emmy-award winning journalist has persevered to get the show off the ground, especially through the hardship of the pandemic.

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Tom's new show will debut on the NBC News NOW streaming service

"The pandemic for our family, like so many, was a difficult time," he says. "I was covering the growing outbreak on the frontlines in New York City. The city was shutting down and it was tough on my wife and three young children."

A particularly challenging moment for him involved having to separate from his wife and kids when they decided to stay with family to be safe while he continued to work on the ground.

MORE: Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb reunite with Today team for special occasion

"Those were the hardest months of my life. It was important to me and my wife that I stay working close to the story to keep people informed during a very uncertain time.

"It was a sacrifice for sure but not even close to what our brave healthcare workers were doing and what our military families do on a much larger scale."

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The journalist spent a chunk of the pandemic away from his wife and kids

Fortunately since then, the family has reunited and is safely back in New York, just in time for the launch of Top Story, which debuted on NBC News NOW on September 20.

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