Business As Usual–At Least On-Air–On NBC’s ‘Today’ This Morning

By Alex Weprin Comment

Despite the leaks last night about NBC’s intention to move Ann Curry off of the “Today” anchor’s desk, it was business as usual this morning on the program… at least on-air.

Ann read the pre-credit headlines, and after welcoming viewers to the program, she and Matt Lauer talked about the east coast heatwave. “As we welcome you to the studio this morning, all we wanted to say was ‘ick,’ it is so sticky out there,” Lauer said.

According to Brian Stelter however, the show had a contingency plan in place, just in case Curry decided not to show up: Hoda Kotb was in the studio early, ready to fill-in if needed.

NBC has not picked a replacement for Ms. Curry on “Today,” so any move to fill her seat, even temporarily, would surely be scrutinized by people inside and outside NBC for signs of the network’s plans. By picking Ms. Kotb to fill in on Wednesday, the producers of “Today” may have been trying to protect Savannah Guthrie (the woman most often mentioned as a replacement) from possible backlash from Ms. Curry’s fans.

Later on, Ann, Matt, Natalie Morales and Al Roker sat on the couch to talk about Lauer’s unexpected cameo in the upcoming Justin Bieber album. It was a typical segment for “Today,” relying heavily on chemistry between the anchors, though yesterday’s news still cast a shadow over it.

Meanwhile as of 9:30 AM ET, the homepage of had an… unusual… theme running through the pictures selected to highlight the day’s top stories, see if you can spot it: