Savannah Guthrie Named Co-Host of 'Today' (Exclusive)
UPDATED: The announcement of Ann Curry's replacement caps more than a week of speculation about the future of NBC's morning franchise.
It’s official. Savannah Guthrie has been named as Matt Lauer’s co-host on Today. The announcement will come Friday via press release from NBC News, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Guthrie's ascension to one of the most high-profile jobs in TV news has been a fait accompli since last week, when The New York Times first reported Curry’s impending departure from NBC’s 60-year-old morning franchise.
Guthrie was tapped as co-host of the 9 a.m. hour -- along with Natalie Morales and Al Roker -- last year when Curry took over as co-host from Meredith Vieira. Guthrie will continue to co-host the 9 a.m. hour for the foreseeable future.
She often filled in for Curry alongside Lauer, and NBC executives are banking on a seamless transition -- and hoping to quiet detractors -- one month before the show heads to London for the Summer Olympics.
The news comes just hours after Guthrie finished co-hosting Friday's program with Lauer and one day after Curry bid a tearful farewell to Today viewers in an extraordinarily raw and emotional segment on Thursday's show. Friday's show did not include the usual voice-over naming Today's co-hosts as NBC News executives sought to put just a little distance between Curry's exit and Guthrie's entrance.
In making the announcement, NBC News president Steve Capus noted Guthrie's "undeniable range."
"She’s anchored for Brian [Williams] on NBC Nightly News, moderated for David [Gregory] on Meet the Press, co-hosted the 9 a.m. hour of Today, reported for Rock Center and Dateline, and provided legal insights in our Supreme Court Special Reports – and that was all within the last week," Capus continued. "She's earned the trust of the news community, her colleagues and our viewers alike."
Today executive producer Jim Bell added: "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. She can effortlessly go from interviewing the Secretary of State to jumping Olympic-sized hurdles on the Plaza."
Guthrie, 40, also is NBC News chief legal analyst. Before getting the promotion to Today last year, she co-hosted an afternoon program on MSNBC with NBC News political director Chuck Todd.
The new Today team of Guthrie, Lauer, Roker and Morales will officially debut Monday, July 9.
Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com; Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie