Meet the Presenters of ‘Today’s’ Fourth Hour

Sep 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb recently were named co-anchors of the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today.”
Age: 50
Tenure with “Today”: 10 years plus many “many more as a fill-in person.”
You’re getting more air time than anyone else at NBC News: 20 hours of “Today” per week, anchoring “Dateline NBC,” subbing for Brian Williams on “Nightly News,” reporting on other subjects. How does it feel to be the face of NBC News? “I’m nervous about it. There have been jokes about NBC standing for Nothing But Curry. I hope to be worthy.”
What’s the first thing people say to you when they see you? “‘I loooove you.’ Then the conversation turns into stories. The second thing they say is, ‘I love your grit.’ They have a sense of me, which is a strange thing they don’t teach in journalism school.”
Sum up this time in your career in one sentence. “I’m aware of and sobered by the possibility that the best thing I will ever have done in my life professionally I have not done yet. The fact that I can work on so many platforms and that I’m embraced on all the platforms, with news that is so important to our country, sobers me and humbles me.”
Describe your TV persona and fashion choices: “I’m making choices in recent years that are ones I’m not sure will play well. But I’m getting more and more comfortable. You come and look at my closet, it has everything from J. Crew to Michael Kors. I’m actually in a struggle about whether we women are just too silly in our choices. Fashion now is too girly-sexy. I’m very cognizant of the possibility that I will either carve a space or close a door to those who come after me.”
After all this time, what would people be surprised to learn about you?? “I don’t like being on television much. I don’t like to wear makeup and I don’t like to wear high heels. I really like to get into sweatpants and flip-flops. Oh, and I answer my own phone.”
Age: 35
Tenure with “Today”: Officially two years next March, “but unofficially I have been filling in for Ann Curry for the last four years and … helping out in various roles in that time.”
What’s your favorite part of working on “Today”? “We just have the best variety show on television, so it never gets old. I come from having a desk job. I started off with a background in finance, even though I was a major in journalism. … The thing that has always attracted me to this profession is knowing that day in and day out there is always going to be a different story driving the news cycle.”
What’s something you’ve learned from a “Today” segment that you can apply to your life? “Always expect the unexpected. It is live television and anything can happen. It is entertaining. It is fun and those are always the moments that are the best in television. … They get played over and over.”
Describe your TV persona and fashion choices: “I like to believe that I’m approachable. I live my life being approachable, from the town that I live in — everybody knows me, I walk around with my son — to even what I wear. I’m a Banana Republic, J. Crew kind of girl. People laugh, because I mix it all up. The wardrobe department says, ‘Wow, we would never think to put that together.’ I like to shop the catalogs like anyone else. I love to shop. I’m also very conscious of budget and try to make it as affordable as possible, because I have to buy a lot of clothes.”
What would people be surprised to learn about you? “People often wonder what my background is. … I’m half Puerto Rican, half Brazilian. I’m an Air Force brat. My background really is what attracted me to journalism. Having lived in Panama, Brazil, Spain, traveled around many countries made me more aware of news and information and other cultures and religions and languages. That whole experience of moving every two to three years, just picking up and going, I think is what journalists get used to, as well, having to adjust quickly to situations.”
Age: 43
Tenure with “Today”: Some fill-in over the years, “more intense over the last couple of years.”
How does it feel to be stepping into the co-anchor spotlight? “Right now I’m dancing on the desk. I’m in Ann Curry’s office dancing on all of her furniture. It’s very neat. Mine is like a landfill. You walk in and go, ‘How do you find anything?’ … I woke up in the middle of the night the other night and looked around and was trying to figure out if this really happened.”
Describe your TV persona and fashion choices: “Throughout my career in television I’ve probably been more of a Glamour ‘don’t’ than anybody. They found me in New Orleans wearing lemon yellow blazers with shoulder pads in them, which I kind of liked. The last two weeks I’ve been shopping with people who are good at this kind of thing, and it’s been an adventure. We’re videotaping some of it for a ‘before and after.’ Stacy London, of ‘What Not to Wear,’ is actually trying to go through my business [wardrobe] and trying to fix it. But I’m very classic if I sort of boil it down, minus the shoulder pads. Sort of clean lines, classic, not a lot of patterns, that’s usually the way I dress. So I think my on-screen persona is probably that way.”
What would people be surprised to learn about you? “I’m not a neatnik. My family would think that is the understatement of the year. I’m a pile person. I like piles. But I can find anything in my piles, anything. I can pull out a Con Ed bill. I can find receipts. I can find anything.”

One Comment

  1. Dear Hoda,
    This morning I happened to catch the piece on your recent battle with breast cancer. You have done a wonderful thing helping so many women in our country dealing with this disease.
    I remember the days when you were at WWL and I was teaching at Jesuit High. Since then your career has been on an upswing and I’m so proud that you spent some time in the New Orleans community. I. after a sabbatical, am now pastor of the Newman Center on UNO’s campus.
    Often we will never understand why bad things happen to good people. But this much I do know, our God always looks out for us……and besides, St. Pete and good Ole God have not prepared your condo in the Kingdom yet! You have to much to do for us and NBC.
    Know that I will keep you in our prayer and Masses as you continue the health journey of success. God bless, Fr. Tom, S.J.
    P.S. If you come to New Orleans anytime, a couple of doctors and I would be delighted to take you to dinner in one of our fine restaurants.

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