Official: Savannah Guthrie Named 'Today' Co-Anchor
The 9 a.m. host replaces Ann Curry on NBC morning program
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/29/2012 1:17:36 PMAnn Curry bid a tearful farewell to the Today co-anchor role she held for just a year, Savannah Guthrie has been officially named her successor at the NBC morning show.
Guthrie filled in as co-host next to Matt Lauer on Friday's show, though no announcement was made on-air of her status. NBC confirmed her promotion Friday afternoon in a press release.
"As soon as Savannah joined NBC News she was a standout, reporting for every franchise in the news division and rising through the ranks. She has a one-of-a-kind combination of sharp wit and approachability, and our viewers value her journalistic skills and legal background just as much as her humor and charm," said Today executive producer Jim Bell. "She can effortlessly go from interviewing the Secretary of State to jumping Olympic-sized hurdles on the Plaza. I'm thrilled to welcome Savannah as our newest co-anchor, and along with Matt, Al and Natalie, we've got the best morning team in the business."
Guthrie's ascension had been expected, though she only joined Today as the 9 a.m. host a year ago following Meredith Vieira's departure. She is also the network's chief legal correspondent, and was previously NBC News White House correspondent.
Though Guthrie is thought to exhibit a greater ease with the playful stunts often required of morning show hosts (a common critique of Curry), industry insiders say NBC would have rather she had more time to settle in at the morning show before promoting her to co-host alongside Lauer.
The transition was fast-tracked in part because of increased ratings competition from ABC's Good Morning America, which won several weeks over Today this spring, and NBC's upcoming coverage of the Summer Olympic Games, during which Today will broadcast from London.
In a press conference Wednesday for its Olympics coverage, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said the Games were a chance to "revitalize the Today show," which will now travel to London with its new team in place. Curry will still go to the Olympics but in her new role as Today anchor-at-large and NBC News national/international correspondent.
I'm not pleased with how NBC handled Ann Curry's departure from its long-running Today show. A lot of people may not be feeling it with Savannah Guthrie as the new co-host. Hoda Kotb had emerged as another possible candidate, but didn't get picked... Natalie Morales was over-looked.
This fall-out may very well be spelling opportunity for both Good Morning America and CBS This Morning.
Eric - 6/29/2012 6:09:31 PM EDT
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