$504 million: Today's ad revenue for the first three quarters of 2013, per Kantar Media

Why they matter: Despite combating ABC's ratings winner Good Morning America and ever-present worries about a succession plan for Lauer, Today remains a cornerstone at NBC. Among other milestones, Lauer, 56, scored exclusives with scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Paula Deen at the height of the celebrity chef's N-word imbroglio, and Guthrie, 42, nabbed attention while attending a Jan. 8 skydive by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Meanwhile, Geist, 38, crossed a sought- after interview off his wish list: Mick Jagger. "If you knew about the Stones indoctrination that took place in my family," he says, "you'd understand what a big personal get that was."

Goal for next year: "On a personal level, to give birth to a healthy baby and be the best mom I can be," says the newlywed Guthrie, who is 20 weeks pregnant. "On a professional level, to continue the momentum we've had at the show." Adds Lauer, "I want to win the Masters."

Nemesis: "None, but I'm accepting applications," quips Lauer.