Today, a.k.a. "The Today Show" first aired on January 14, 1952. It was created by Pat Weaver who was vice president of NBCm and became president of NBC from until 1955 when "The Tonight Show" premiered and then became chairman for another year.
One of the earlier hosts is Dave Garroway. The show includes national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS' The Early Show. In other countries the format was copied - most notably in the United Kingdom with the BBC's Breakfast and ITV's Good Morning Britain and in Canada with Canada AM on CTV. When Today started, it was seen live only in the Eastern and Central time zones, broadcasting three hours per morning but seen for only two hours in each time zone. Later, Today aired live for five hours a morning, but it was seen for only two consecutive hours in each of the four U.S. continental time zones. Since 1958, Today is tape-delayed for the different time zones. For many years it was a two-hour program from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. in all time zones, until NBC expanded it to three hours (until 10:00 a.m. in all time zones) on October 2, 2000. In some markets (such as Rochester, New York, on WHEC-TV), the third hour of Today is tape-delayed by an hour and airs at 10 a.m.
Other hosts have been John Chancellor, Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters, Frank McGee, Jim Hartz, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, Chris Wallace, Bryant Gumbel, Linda Ellerbee, and Deborah Norville.
The show is currently hosted and introduced by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, with Al Roker doing national weather updates, and Ann Curry at the news desk. Natalie Morales is a national correspondent and co-host of the third hour of the program, Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic, and Peter Greenberg is the travel editor. Roker, Curry, and Morales interview guests and take part in other segments in addition to their weather and news duties during the 9 a.m. hour. Also, former Today weatherman Willard Scott sends birthday wishes to centenarians twice weekly and occasionally subs for Roker. NBC News White House correspondent David Gregory has recently been added as substitute host for Matt Lauer. Weekend Today host Campbell Brown often substitutes as well. Bob Dotson, Jamie Gangel, and Melissa Stark are National Correspondents for Today. Stark also acts as host of MSNBC Live. Kelly O'Donnell covers the day's events at the White House while Tim Russert (host of NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday mornings) offers commentary on current political news (MSNBC's Chris Matthews sometimes subs for Russert).
Today added a fourth hour of programming in September 10, 2007. Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford are hosts of this segment.
8/10 (1 Vote cast)