This morning’s announcement was made at the end of the franchise’s mothership two-hour block, which also featured the rest of Matt Lauer’s Potty-gate interview with embattled U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who now says he takes “full responsibility” for “over-exaggerating” when he told Bush, in an “exclusive,” that he was pulled over and robbed by someone who put a gun to his head in Rio de Janeiro. Geist’s announcement also had to wait until after the introduction of Today‘s new service-puppy-in-training, and viewers were asked to help name the lab puppy.
Geist’s announcement also shared the stage with the announcement Al Roker had created the Roker Burger – Angus beef topped with barbequed pulled pork, American cheese, red-eye mayo and pickles – which would be available at Shake Shacks until Friday with one buck of every burger sale supporting No Kid Hungry.
Today traditionally loads lots of bells and whistles in its first broadcast after an Olympics.
Back on May 17, Today finally had confirmed one of the longest rumors in morning infotainment show history: Bush, host of NBCU’s Access Hollywood, would join Today. That third hour of Today, at 9 AM ET, has had a tough go, competing against Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly And Whoever Replaces Michael in many parts of the country. But, even in that May 17 announcement, NBC declined to clearly spell out that Bush was replacing Geist as co-host of what has been the successful franchise’s lowest-rated hour.
Replacing Geist seemed like Bush’s inevitable role given Geist’s workload — he recently became host of the Sunday edition of Today, and also is a co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, contributor to NBC News programs and the NBC Sports Group, and host of NBCNews.com’s video blog Zeitgeist.
But NBC News execs had denied Bush was replacing Geist, in what Lochte might call an “over-exaggerating” of the facts.