Maria Shriver Returns to ‘Today’ for Papal Coverage

By Chris Ariens Comment

For the last two days, former NBC News anchor/correspondent — and former California first lady — Maria Shriver has been reporting for the “Today” show from Rome. She’s had several reports, including the story behind the pope’s choice of names, and how the role of women in the church could change under Pope Francis. This morning she took part in an interview, with Matt Lauer, of New York Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “Your dad was a great man. He was a wise man too,” said Dolan speaking of Sargent Shriver who died two years ago.

Shriver’s career in TV news goes back 30 years. She co-anchored “The CBS Morning News” in the mid-1980s before moving to NBC News where she anchored “Weekend Today,” the weekend edition of “Nightly News” and, later, reported and anchored for “Dateline NBC.”

In 2007 — following the coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith — Shriver declared she was done with TV news. “It was then that I knew that the TV news business had changed and so had I,” Shriver said at the California Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women . “I called NBC News and told them I’m not coming back.”

Of course, things change. Six years ago, “Today” was the undisputed No. 1 morning show. “Today” producers hope that by bringing back familiar on-air faces, some of the hundreds of thousands of viewers who tuned out over the past year, will also return.