It’s been a busy couple of months for The Today Show host Savannah Guthrie, who was married in March and announced a pregnancy in April. With the early morning host’s maternity leave on the horizon, NBC is doing a little research into who might be able to fill her role for a few months. As it turns out, frontrunners seem to include Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira.
It’s Couric that we are most excited about. The longtime host and journalist used to host Today for a period of years, ending her tenure in 2006. In the time since she has hopped networks and programs numerous times, working for CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, ABC News and more before landing a gig as the host of her own daytime series, Katie. Unfortunately, low ratings led to a cancellation of that series, which will officially end its run in June. After the cancellation, Katie Couric signed a deal to work with Yahoo News. Normally, we would believe a lengthy return to NBC would be unlikely, but that’s a lot of career changes in a relatively short period of time, and if her schedule is open the idea is seeming less unlikely and more appealing by the minute.
The NY Post broke the news on Monday, noting that Katie Couric would be perfect on the show during Savannah Guthrie’s maternity leave. Not only does she have experience on Today, she also has great rapport with current host Matt Lauer. These reasons and more would make her a good fit for the gig.
However, Couric isn’t the only famous lady who might potentially take over the slot. NBC has also reportedly spoken with network veteran Meredith Vieira about the temporary position. Vieira recently made headlines whilst doing some work with NBC during the 2014 Winter Olympics, becoming the first female primetime Olympics host. Additionally, Meredith Vieira has a syndicated daytime talk show in the pipeline with NBC Universal called The Meredith Vieira Show. With her new show hitting television sets this fall, taking over for Guthrie could help her to gain some traction before her solo gig premieres.
Both Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira have the track record on the air and with Today to ensure an easy transition while Savannah Guthrie is out. However, no decisions have been made as of yet, and neither woman has even taken a leap as a frontrunner, according to a statement from an NBC spokeswoman.
“With the Today Show in a good place, we are blessed with great talent and many options to temporarily fill Savannah’s chair while she’s on leave, but there’s no plan yet. Stay tuned.”
Guthrie is currently only five months pregnant and is not expected to take time off until this summer, but if we had to venture a guess, we’d say to expect an official announcement sometime over the next couple of months.