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6 People Who Could Replace Matt Lauer on NBC's 'Today'

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily express those of The TV Ratings Guide. 

Ann Curry (left) and Matt Lauer (right) on 'Today'
'Today' anchor Savannah
Guthrie
In recent months, the entertainment world has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations, with Hollywood heavy hitters such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey falling from grace in an instant after allegations against them. The political world soon followed with Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and Roy Moore being accused of inappropriate conduct against women. Now, the news world has been shaken by these allegations, with morning show headliner Charlie Rose being terminated by CBS in mid-November. Then came Matt Lauer, the now-disgraced 20-year veteran of NBC's Today show. The announcement was more public than perhaps any other, being announced by co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on the show Lauer himself had ruled for two decades. The network is now left picking up the pieces, and must find a new co-host for the program's primary two-hour block, something they haven't done in five years - since the departure of Ann Curry and her subsequent replacement by Guthrie. Here are six people that would be great picks to serve as anchors.


1- Hoda Kotb
Hoda Kotb is definitely more than just Kathie Lee's drinking buddy during the fourth hour. She's been a journalist for decades and has been with Today for a decade. Her role at the show has expanded recently, having frequently joined the cast of the earlier hours on set, effectively serving as an anchor of sorts already. She also had the tough job of, along with Guthrie, announcing that Lauer had been terminated from the morning juggernaut. Her chemistry with Guthrie has also been proven, as they have co-anchored together and have done well.

2- Ann Curry
This one is unlikely due to Ms. Curry's previous history with Today, as she left the program in a hurry five years ago, leaving almost everyone baffled by just how terribly it was handled. Curry's distraught look during the announcement didn't exactly clear anything up for anyone. However, think of the reason Curry was likely fired to begin with: Matt Lauer. Now that Lauer has been terminated himself, Curry, a face known very well by Today viewers, would be a welcomed addition (or, rather, re-addition) to the family. In this tumultuous time for the show, a familiar face is almost necessary to make a transition that, while certainly still rocky, would be smooth as possible. She's proven to be a good fit for the show, as you don't just remain on a show for a decade and a half for no reason. Besides Curry being one of the best journalists NBC has ever employed, the poetic justice of this would truly be incredible. Just think of the ratings a vindicated Curry could bring to the show. Even if a ratings boost would be temporary, it would still be very much appreciated by the network.

3- Willie Geist
Willie Geist wears many hats at NBC News - Sunday Today anchor, Morning Joe host, and heir apparent to Matt Lauer. He formerly had an even bigger role on the program, serving as an anchor of the now-defunct Today's Take. There's good reason that Geist has such a prominent role at the company: he's likable, charismatic, and he's really a great host. In a sense, it would be a return home for Geist, who left the weekday edition of Today a little over a year ago, and it would seemingly be welcomed by just about everyone at NBC.

4- Craig Melvin
On paper, Melvin seems like another obvious replacement for Lauer. He's well-versed at hosting Today, as he currently serves as host of Weekend Today. He is also familiar to MSNBC viewers as a host of one of their million MSNBC Live hours. He's a safe choice for the job, and he may not necessarily be the most exciting pick, which may not help ratings that will most certainly sag in the fallout of Lauer's scandal. However, I'm not so sure that any host could really save Today from losing some steam in the long run. Melvin, being enormously qualified, just may be worth a try.

5- Anderson Cooper
Cooper is the only member of this list that has never been a Today personality, but that doesn't mean much. After all, they all have to come from somewhere. Just look at current third hour host Megyn Kelly, or even Kathie Lee Gifford, who was neither a journalist nor a previous NBC personality. Cooper is the host of his own hour on CNN, so he's no stranger to daily news. His show draws strong ratings for CNN, and he's well-liked by many. He might not be an obvious pick, but he'd probably fit in well with Today and he'd be a good counterpart to Guthrie.

6- Stephanie Ruhle
Ruhle is an accomplished journalist and business whiz who hosts not one, not two, but three programs on MSNBC. She's a familiar face for MSNBC and Today fans alike, as she previously served as a Weekend Today anchor and currently is an NBC News correspondent. While she's no longer a member of the Today family, making her less likely than others to land a position, that doesn't make her any less qualified. A great journalist is a great journalist, and Ruhle certainly is one, making her a smart pick for NBC's flagship news show.


In Summary
So who do I think should be the new Today anchor? Well, it's not quite so simple, as all six have their pros and cons. At the end of the day, they're all qualified, experiences journalists that would fit in on the show, having previously hosted Today, their own show, or both. I wouldn't fault the network for picking anyone on this list, but if I'd have my say, I would have to go with Curry. Not only was she great in the role, but I'm just a huge fan of hers in general and I truly do miss her. Today would become a must-watch for me once again if she were to rejoin it.

Who do YOU think should replace Lauer? What do you think about these six choices? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below!