The first two hours of “The Today Show” came and went on Friday, and there was not a single mention of whether or not Savannah Guthrie was going to be the full-time anchor in place of the recently-departed Ann Curry. It was a rather weird phenomenon to watch — even though multiple sources have said that the third-hour host has already hammered out a deal to take over for the morning show’s most-coveted two hours, producers behind the show decided instead to put a show on the air and act as though nothing happened at all.
Luckily for them, there were two reasons why they were able to get away with delaying the announcement for the time being:
1. Maroon 5 – With Friday being an installment in their Summer Concert Series, Adam Levine’s pop / rock group took up a good chunk of the show. Guthrie and Matt Lauer were able to hit Rockefeller Plaza, talk with the fans, and allow the music to temporarily take them away from the drama of the past week and a half.
2. Vacation – Both Lauer and Al Roker are on vacation next week, so this gives the show an opportunity to let everything settle down a little bit. The guest hosts are incredibly unlikely to even bother mentioning Curry or Guthrie on the show, and when Lauer does return they can make a formal announcement then that does not grab as many negative headlines. It’s not necessarily the kindest move ever for Guthrie, but it helps them protect their own hide a little bit.
This switch by “The Today Show” was done after the ratings gap between the flagship morning show and “Good Morning America” started to narrow in recent weeks, and Robin Roberts and company over at ABC have even defeated the show now on a few occasions. It’s unclear whether or not Guthrie (who is hardly the same high-profile name as either Katie Couric or Meredith Vieira) is really the solution, but it does appear that she is going to be given a shot.
Are you surprised that the show chose to pretty much ignore the departure of Curry on Friday? Be sure to check out some of our other coverage of the “Today” change-up.
Update: So much for waiting! After the show aired, NBC released a statement and confirmed that Guthrie will be the new co-anchor on the show moving forward.