Vieira To ‘Today:’ Press Conf. Live-Blogging

By Brian 

NBC is hosting a conference call with Jim Bell, Matt Lauer, and Meredith Vieira this afternoon. Here are some notes:

1:33pm: Jim Bell says the set is a big change. “Right out of the box, you’re going to see a set that, I think it’s safe to say, will be a little surprising. It’s not a comfortable wooden living room. It’s a little bit more of an elegant, bright, modern” set… “the lighting’s different.” Bell thinks it will “change a lot of the ways the segments are produced.”

1:32pm: Vieira brought Lauer, Al Roker, and Ann Curry to the set of Millionaire for a segment that will air soon.

1:28pm: Lauer doesn’t think the learning curve will be exceptionally steep for Vieira: “Once a broadcaster, always a broadcaster… I don’t think she’s going to find it very different at all.”

1:26pm: Meredith and Matt did a mock first half hour this morning. He pointed out that the staff is working out the kinks of the new set while she gets situated on the show.

1:25pm: Vieira jokingly added: “Remember, you don’t judge anybody by their first day.” A male voice added: “Good luck on that.”

1:25pm: Vieira on Couric: “I thought she did a great job.” Lauer on Couric: “I thought she did a very good job… I think she came out of the box as a great broadcaster and showed she’s a great journalist.”

1:19pm: Vieira just wants to “fit in and feel my way” as a “new member of the family.”

1:17pm: “I’m trying to get into bed somewhere around 8 at night, but when you have a house full of kids it’s not easy.” (Last night she had to go to Staples to buy school supplies; she didn’t get home till 11pm.)

1:16pm: Vieira expected to be waking up around 4am, but lately she has been out of bed between 3 and 3:30am. “I need to feed the dog, two cats, clean the cat dog, feed the fish… and get my act together.”

1:13pm: Bell says Vieira is getting ready: “She came in to see what the overnight guys do. She’s been working on features. She’s been getting to know people.”

1:12pm: Jim Bell talked about a summer of changes, with substitute anchors and a temporary set. “We are now thrilled to bring this all to a wonderful conclusion next Wednesday and welcome Meredith Vieira to the family.”