After news broke this week that “Today” show regular Natalie Morales might be leaving the program, NBC confirmed its plans for the morning veteran. Morales’ role will indeed be changing, but it turns out she will still be a part of “Today.”
USA Today reports that Morales, who joined “Today” in 2006, is moving to Los Angeles, where she will become “Today’s” West Coast anchor and will add hosting duties on NBCUniversal’s “Access Hollywood” and “Access Hollywood Live.” Senior VP Noah Oppenheim, the NBC exec in charge of “Today,” detailed plans Wednesday in an email to the show’s staff.
The move comes as “Access” anchor Billy Bush is expected to join “Today.”
In the email, Oppenheim wrote: “As you all know, Natalie has already been spending a lot of time in California, reporting live from special events like the Oscars, Golden Globes and Latin American Music Awards, conducting celebrity interviews and set visits, and spearheading two big series spotlighting women who are leaders in Silicon Valley and Hollywood. With our show’s increasing focus on West Coast stories, it became clear to me that having a permanent anchor presence in L.A. would be of enormous value.”
Morales, 43, will also continue to play “a prominent role” on “Dateline NBC,” the email notes.