The Biz: Willie Geist Named Co-Host of Today's Third Hour
Willie Geist is going to need an extra shot in his Starbucks.
On the Wednesday edition of NBC's Today, he was officially named co-host of the program's third hour. Geist, 37, will take over Nov. 12 for Savannah Guthrie, who now sits in the co-anchor chair alongside Matt Lauer from 7 to 9 a.m. But Geist will be doing double duty, remaining in his current role as co-host of Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning program that is must see viewing for Beltway followers.
Geist told TV Guide Magazine he'll do the 6 a.m. hour of Morning Joe and then head across the street to Studio 1A at Rockefeller Plaza for his shift on Today. He will no longer host Way Too Early, his quirky half-hour program that airs on MSNBC at 5:30 a.m. That show will have fill-in hosts before a permanent replacement is named.
Geist confirmed that he did have other suitors before he signed on for his new role at Today. "I talked to a lot of people and I have a lot of friends at CBS, ABC and ESPN," he says. "Every few years you survey the landscape but at the end of the day, the Today show is the Today show and it's very difficult to say no to."
Geist's new deal will also give him the opportunity to appear on the NBC Sports Channel. He will also fill in for Lauer on Today. He says he has not been designated as a permanent substitute, but the third hour of Today has served as a platform where NBC News can develop talent for a larger role on the program. Don't be surprised if Geist, whose dry humor and ease on camera has made him a favorite within the news division, is anointed as an heir apparent to Lauer down the road.
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