The announcement comes just one day after a tearful Curry bid viewers farewell. Curry called viewers "the real 'Today' show family," and said that she wanted to "show [them] the world." She signed a long-term deal with NBC News as a national and international correspondent with new titles including, "'Today' anchor at large."
Guthrie will also remain as the "Today" show's chief legal analyst. "Today" executive producer Jim Bell said, "As soon as Savannah joined NBC News she was a standout, reporting for every franchise in the news division and rising through the ranks." Guthrie joined the network in 2008, and has risen to one of the most coveted spots within the network and news industry. Prior to joining NBC News, Guthrie served as a correspondent for Court TV.
Bell added, "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. 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."
Though no formal announcement regarding a replacement was made after Curry exited the show on Thursday, Guthrie appeared next to Matt Lauer in Curry's former seat at the top of the 7:00 a.m. hour on Friday. The show omitted its usual introduction, which announces the program's co-hosts.
After being passed up as co-host when Katie Couric left the show in 2006, Curry replaced Vieira last June, the same time the networked moved Guthrie over from her White House correspondent and MSNBC gigs to co-host "Today's" third hour.
Though Curry had been the "Today" show's newsreader for fourteen years, she was often the subject of negative press when she took on the role of co-host. Critics reported that the oh-so-important chemistry between Curry and Lauer was off, and held Curry responsible for the morning show's ratings woes. For the first time in 16 years, ABC rival "Good Morning America" beat the "Today" show in weekly total viewers.
After 15 years on "Today," Curry was given approximately five minutes at the end of the 8:00 a.m. hour to announce her departure and reflect on more than a decade of her career. The program did not air a highlights reel, despite a report that first said otherwise. Instead, Curry's colleagues reflected on memorable moments from years past. And just as swiftly as she made her announcement, Curry was gone, and the show picked right back up at the 9:00 a.m. hour.
NBC News said that the new "Today" team officially debuts on Monday, July 9.
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