Since Willie Geist joined the “Today” show in 2012, rumors have swirled that he is the heir apparent to Matt Lauer, whose current deal with the NBC morning show expires early next year. In a New York Observer profile, Geist addresses the succession speculation:
“I think with respect to people who say that, it’s just that—speculation. It’s totally meaningless,” says Mr. Geist. “It’s fun for people to talk about, but I can tell you honestly that I never had one single conversation about that, ever. Matt is the host, and he’s the best morning show host in the history of morning show hosts, and he’ll be there as long as he wants to be there. So there’s no point in me thinking about it. All I do is try to do a good job in our hour, and when they ask me to fill in for him, I fill in for him.”
And if the powers that be at NBC called him? “I would certainly take the phone calls from my superiors at work, but I’ve never received one like that. If it happens, I’ll answer, and we’ll see.”
Geist also appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” this week, where he was asked about his craziest experience with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb. Watch after the jump.