Natalie Morales and Willie Geist On the ‘Today’ Show’s New Family Members

By Alissa Krinsky 

Morales and Geist in Chicago on Saturday. Photo: Alissa Krinsky

Morales and Geist in Chicago on Saturday. Photo: Alissa Krinsky

Fresh out of their costumes as Saturday Night Live’Mary Katherine Gallagher and Spartan cheerleader Craig, “Today” show co-anchors Natalie Morales and Willie Geist told TVNewser they are delighted with the show’s well-received Halloween 2014 Boo-Nanza on Friday.

“We all get along so well,” Morales says about her on-air colleagues, citing the “camaraderie” she felt as they portrayed famous SNL characters in a collection of skits.

It’s a far cry from the discord and tension at “Today” in 2012, when Ann Curry’s exit from the show triggered an onslaught of negative publicity.

Since then, Savannah Guthrie — back from maternity leave this morning — was named co-anchor. Geist officially joined the “Today” family as well.

“I think you read things and you hear things about what TV shows are like behind the scenes – you know it’s cutthroat, and all that,” Geist told TVNewser, during an interview in Chicago Saturday ahead of “Skyscraper Live,” which Geist and Morales hosted last night.

“I was so impressed by how it was unlike anything I’d read the show was, and how good everyone is to each other and how well they get along.”

As the show continues to move forward, other new faces are on the scene as well.

Former ABC morning show competitor Josh Elliott made his first on-set appearance on “Today” last week, filling in for Morales as news anchor. 

“He’s a great guy, he was a huge asset to GMA, and if he can come and help us, we welcome him with open arms,” says Geist. “I was happy to see him.”

And in a major behind-the-scenes move, new Today SVP and GM Jamie Horowitz recently came onboard, joining the show from ESPN.

Morales says that prior to his official start, Horowitz reached out to the show’s anchors and producers, along with other staff, to meet for lunch and talk about the program.

“He’s watching and learning, and getting a feel for the place to see what moves to make,” adds Geist, who had met Horowitz earlier through Geist’s sister, who works at ESPN.

“He’s a really smart guy, and he’s been great at reaching out to us, getting our input, and so far we’re really impressed.”