June 29th, 2012
03:03 PM ET
NBC has made it official: After having Savannah Guthrie sit in Ann Curry's former spot Friday morning on "Today," the network has officially signed Guthrie on as the morning show's new co-anchor, along with Matt Lauer.
Guthrie, who joined "Today" in 2011 as a host during the 9 a.m. hour and also serves as the chief legal analyst, will make her official debut alongside Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales on July 9, the network said Friday.
"Today" executive producer Jim Bell said in a statement posted on the show's website that Guthrie was "a standout" from day one, "reporting for every franchise in the news division and rising through the ranks."
Bell went on to compliment Guthrie's "one-of-a-kind combination of sharp wit and approachability," adding that "Today" show viewers "value her journalistic skills and legal background just as much as her humor and charm."
Guthrie "can effortlessly go from interviewing the Secretary of State to jumping Olympic-sized hurdles on the plaza," he said, adding that he's "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.”
This isn't a surprise, as it was widely speculated that Guthrie would take over Ann Curry's co-anchor duties after she announced her departure Thursday.
The venerated morning show has experienced sinking ratings and ramped-up pressure to compete with ABC's "Good Morning America," reports the New York Daily News. "Today" had been the top-rated morning show for 15 years until it nearly tied with "GMA" a few months back.
On Friday morning, Guthrie and Matt Lauer tackled a wide slate of topics. but neither of them spoke about Guthrie's new presence on the show.
Curry said Thursday that she'll now be reporting for the network and contributing to several of its shows.
Ann Curry's tearful goodbye: 'I'm sorry'
Ann Curry said goodbye to viewers on NBC's "Today" as she steps down as show co-host. CNN's Mary Snow reports.
Meanwhile, some of her fans are still upset over Curry's sudden departure after 15 years. The NYDN reports that online petitions have been launched to reinstate her, while others have taken to Twitter to express their dismay over how she was treated.
Many celebrities tweeted their encouragement on Thursday, as Curry apologized to her supporters for not being able to "carry the ball over the finish line."
Ellen DeGeneres wished Curry the best on Thursday, tweeting, "Sending love to @AnnCurry on her last day at The Today Show. It's been a great 15 years. I can't wait to see the great things you do next."
Added fashion and media personality Nina Garcia, "Have to say that @AnnCurry is a #classact. Can't wait to see what she does next."
We do know a bit about what Curry will do next, as she explained in her farewell on Thursday that her new role will include working on larger pieces that will air on all NBC News platforms, including "Today."
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