NBC News Names Kristen Welker Weekend Co-Anchor of 'Today'

Welker started her career as a “Today” intern

The “Today” anchors celebrated Kristen Welker Friday after NBC News announced she will be the new weekend co-anchor of the program.

Welker, who covers the White House for NBC News, started her career in journalism as a “Today” intern more than 20 years ago and now she’ll be co-anchoring weekends with fellow NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander, who helped welcome her Friday. She’ll be replacing Sheinelle Jones, who co-anchored on weekends for five years and will be continuing to co-anchor the third hour of “Today” during the week.

“To have come here as an intern for the Today show, to shoot that reel… I looked so serious,” Welker said after watching an old clip of herself reading the news at 21 for her demo reel. “To be terrified like that and then to come and sit at this desk, to sit next to my friend Peter Alexander every Saturday, it is the honor of a lifetime.”

“Kristen is what I call my ‘big little sister. She is one of my best friends in the world, not just professionally but personally. I really do consider her a part of my family,” said Alexander.

Welker’s first day anchoring the program will be Saturday.

6 Times NBC's 'Today' Host Drama Made Headlines, From Jane Pauley to Tamron Hall (Photos)

  • “Today” host Tamron Hall announced on Wednesday that she’ll be leaving NBC and MSNBC following the cancellation of her hour of the daytime talk show to make room for the incoming Megyn Kelly. NBC was met with harsh backlash from viewers, but it’s hardly the first time the morning show has been embroiled in controversy.

    Getty Images

  • Jane Pauley
    Pauley served as co-host of “Today” for more than a decade alongside Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel. But in 1989, Pauley announced she’d be leaving the show and Deborah Norville would be taking her place. The move was widely interpreted as “Today” replacing its female host with a younger woman, prompting swift criticism from viewers and the media. 

    Getty Images

  • Ann Curry 
    Curry was brought on to replace the departing Meredith Vieira in 2011, and was ousted less than a year later for Savannah Guthrie in a move that became a huge embarrassment for “Today.” Curry spent her final appearance on the show openly weeping. The well-liked anchor was reportedly driven out in a campaign orchestrated her co-host Matt Lauer and the show’s producers. 

    Getty Images

  • Natalie Morales
    Morales stepped down as “Today” anchor in May 2016, jumping ship for a role on “Access Hollywood.” The move was followed by reports that Morales was being ousted due to an affair-gone-awry with Lauer, but both parties swiftly came out and denied the allegations. 

    Getty Images

  • Billy Bush 
    During the 2016 Rio Olympics, U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte claimed he’d been robbed at gunpoint in an friendly interview with “Today’s” Billy Bush. His story was soon revealed to be a lie by Rio police and security camera footage, causing some embarrassment for the show. Bush’s continued defense of Lochte then led to a heated exchange with co-host Al Roker later in the week. 

    Getty Images

  • Billy Bush (again)
    Just a few months later in October 2016, at the peak of the presidential election, Bush was at the center of yet another scandal. This time it involved newly uncovered tapes from Bush’s tenure at “Access Hollywood.” After the audio surfaced of Bush egging on Donald Trump as he bragged about sexually assaulting women, the host was promptly suspended, then dismissed, from “Today.” 

    Getty Images

  • Tamron Hall 
    After the news that Megyn Kelly would be leaving Fox News to take on her own daytime show at NBC, Hall was informed by the network that the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” that she co-hosted with Al Roker would be canceled. Hall subsequently announced her plans to leave NBC in February 2017, inciting swift criticism of the network from her fans. 

    Getty Images

The venerable morning show has been a lightning rod ever since Pauley was abruptly replaced by Deborah Norville

“Today” host Tamron Hall announced on Wednesday that she’ll be leaving NBC and MSNBC following the cancellation of her hour of the daytime talk show to make room for the incoming Megyn Kelly. NBC was met with harsh backlash from viewers, but it’s hardly the first time the morning show has been embroiled in controversy.

Source: Read Full Article