HOLA! EXCLUSIVE

Cuban American news anchor Tom Llamas lands his own primetime streaming show on NBC News

The beloved Today Show coanchor opened up to HOLA! about his goal to inspire viewers, his mentors and his separation from family during the pandemic

Cuban American, Tom Llamas is taking on a new challenge, his own primetime show for NBC News Now. The 42 year old news anchor will be leading a nightly newscast, “Top Story With Tom Llamas.”  The program, which premiered this September 20th, will be streamed live every day at 7:00 p.m. ET and at 4:00 p.m. PST. The show will also be available on demand so users can watch at their convenience on streaming platforms such as Peacock, YouTube TV, Pluto, Tubi, Apple TV among others.

Over the years, this Miami-born, Emmy-award winning journalist and TV correspondent has been bringing TV viewers great news coverage. Llamas has reported for Telemundo, ABC and NBC News and has made countless appearances on the Today show. And this last April, he became one of the co-hosts of the Today Show along with the seasoned Al Roker, Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, and Savannah Guthrie.

Landing his own show is a major accomplishment for this latino and HOLA! USA had the chance to ask him a few questions about this significant and exciting new chapter in his career.

Tom Llama is an Emmy-award journalist born in Miami raised by cuban immigrants.HOLA! USAlogo_alt©NBC
Tom Llama is an Emmy-award journalist born in Miami raised by cuban immigrants.

What can we expect from your new show Top Story and what are you most looking forward to about it?

“Expect a hard hitting evening news show with a robust selection of 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. I want the show to inform, inspire, and but also be interesting. 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.”

Tom Llamas at the set of his upcoming NBC show, Top StoryHOLA! USAlogo_alt©NBC
Tom Llamas at the set of his upcoming NBC show, Top Story

You‘ve worked across a bunch of the NBC shows so far. What’s the best thing about working with other talent from NBC News and do you ever meet up off-screen with your co-workers?

“I’m grateful I get the opportunity to contribute on so many different shows at NBC. From the Today Show to Telemundo. As a family we grew up watching NBC so this truly is an honor. We have so many talented journalists who are also amazing people. Every time I anchor with Savannah and Hoda I’m learning something new from them. The people you watch on camera are the same behind the scenes and I think viewers know that and it’s why they tune in to the Today Show.

He continued...

Lester Holt has been a friend who has offered tremendous advice to me over the years and is a role model. He’s great anchor but also a wonderful person. José Díaz-Balart is someone I grew up watching and had the opportunity to work with in Miami. He is more than just a friend and a mentor. I’m lucky to know him and there are few as fearless or dedicated in their journalism. When he has time - I’m definitely trying to grab dinner with him. We laugh a lot and enjoy sharing stories about our wives and kids and our families’ journey from Cuba. Craig Melvin is also a friend and someone I truly respect. Before we had kids we enjoyed some memorable NYC nights out with our wives. The four of us all have worked together at different points in our careers. We are hoping to get our growing families together soon.”

Tom Llamas chats with HOLA! About his new NBC NewsHOLA! USAlogo_alt©NBC

How has your family coped during the pandemic? Has it brought you closer together? Anything particularly challenging?

“The pandemic for our family, like so many, was a difficult time. 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. We made the decision for the kids and my wife to go stay with family in Miami and New Orleans during the peak of the pandemic. 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. But being away from my family was not easy. I would see them once or twice a month. 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. Being apart was tough, but it was the safest thing to do. It made me cherish every second we have with each other. We’ve been all back together in New York since August of 2020. My kids are very young so I hope they don’t remember that time apart.”

It is so great report on the success of this talented latino and to also learn that Llamas is familiar with HOLA! He shared some fond memories about our publication. ❤️❤️

“I vividly remember growing up in Miami and going to my aunt or grandmother’s home and everyone wanting to see the latest issue of HOLA! It was such a big magazine-physically—and it had so many photos. Cafe Cubano, Sábado Gigante, and HOLA! - that was pretty much my grandmother’s jam.”
Tom Llamas prepares to broadcast his new nightly news showHOLA! USAlogo_alt©NBC
Tom Llamas prepares to broadcast his new nightly news show