Today co-host Willie Geist will host Discovery Channel‘s Everest Live Jump, the two-hour telecast in which climber Joby Ogwyn will attempt the first wing-suit flight off the summit of Mt. Everest. That’s because the telecast is being produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. Interestingly, Geist will also be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest’s unpredictable weather conditions, while Chris Jacobs and Kyle Martino give live updates. The Weather Channel’s Sam Champion could use the exposure — the launch of his morning program AMHQ has produced ratings lower than that network’s prior four-week average in the time period. Discovery says the Mt. Everest jump will be telecast live in May.
The Today show co-host also gave the play-by-play account of Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over the Grand Canyon during Discovery Channel’s highly-rated Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda, though it turned out to be less of a gig than expected because Wallenda was concentrating too hard on staying on top of the wire in the wind, and praying out loud, and did not seem inclined to talk to Geist during the walk, as had been planned. Cantore was also based on the rim of the Grand Canyon tracking wind that clocked in at 48 mph just before Wallenda began his walk. This time, Geist and Cantore will be based at a studio in New York City designed specifically for the event, rather than on site as Geist was for the tightrope walk; Jacobs and Martino will be stationed at Mt. Everest. Jacobs has numerous television credits, including co-hosting Discovery’s and Velocity’s Overhaulin’. Martino is a former professional athlete and the lead analyst for Major League Soccer on NBC, and made his Olympics debut as an in-game analyst at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.