Libby Leist Becomes First Woman Executive Producer of NBC 'Today Show' 7-9am Time Slot

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Libby Leist Becomes First Executive Producer of NBC 'Today Show' 7-9am Time Slot

NBC News announced Wednesday that Libby Leist will succeed Don Nash as executive producer at the 'Today' show, making her the first woman to lead the program's 7am and 8am hours. 

The move follows the November 2017 firing of former 'Today' co-host Matt Lauer and appointment in January of Hoda Kotb to replace Lauer, joining Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk. 

“The TODAY show couldn’t be in a stronger position. Savannah and Hoda have seamlessly taken their seats and we’re off to a fantastic start in 2018,” Lack wrote to staff. “With this change in anchors, and having rethought some of his priorities, Don Nash has decided to step away from his Executive Producer role at TODAY.”

“Libby has spent her career at NBC News, starting as a desk assistant in DC in 2001, and later rising to become Andrea Mitchell’s State Department producer — a role for which she traveled the world — and then several senior producer roles in the bureau, including MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown and Capitol Hill producer,” Lack wrote.

Leist is also very close to Savannah Guthrie and led 'Today' coverage of candidate town halls in 2016 and a 2016 broadcast from 'The White House' in the Obama Administration. "Today' never replaced Natalie Morales, when she left in 2016 -- preferring to have the anchors handling solid news stories. With the avalanche of Democratic women running for office in 2018, bringing in an executive produce with a political background makes sense.

Hoda Kotb Becomes 'Today' Co-Anchor! With Daughter Haley Joy, Hoda Says: 'Let's Go Girls!'

HODA KOTB, LEFT, AND SAVANNAH GUTHRIE IN NOVEMBER. CREDIT: HIROKO MASUIKE/THE NEW YORK TIMES

HODA KOTB, LEFT, AND SAVANNAH GUTHRIE IN NOVEMBER. CREDIT: HIROKO MASUIKE/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Hoda Kotb Becomes 'Today' Co-Anchor! With Daughter Haley Joy, Hoda Says: 'Let's Go Girls!'

Hoda Kotb (pronounced COT-bee) will permanently replace disgraced NBC Today show anchor Matt Lauer, the network announced on Tuesday. For the first time in 'Today's' history, NBC's most profitable franchise will be placed in the hands of two women -- Kotb and existing anchor Savannah Guthrie. 

“We are kicking off the year right, because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of ‘Today,’” Ms. Guthrie said, sitting next to Ms. Kotb. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made, and I am so thrilled.”

Ms. Kotb, 53, responded: “I am pinching myself.”

Guthrie has been a 'Today' anchor since 2012 and Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for 'Dateline'. In 2008 Kotb became the co-host of the fourth hour of 'Today' and rushed into the emergency substitute host spot on the morning that Laurer was fired.

An Egyptian-American, Kotb adopted in early 2017 a little girl Haley Joy and lives since fall 2016 with her longtime partner, financier Joel Shiffman. The event has completely changed her life, says Hoda, who has long wanted to be a mother but -- as a breast cancer survivor -- couldn't conceive children. 

NY Mag Takes Another Look At Matt Laurer's Takedown Of Today Show's Ann Curry

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NY Mag Takes Another Look At Matt Laurer's Takedown Of Today Show's Ann Curry

NY Mag shares again its 2013 story about Matt Lauer's takedown of 'Today' show cohost Ann Curry.

In the light of day on Dec. 4, the real problem is probably that she wouldn't . . . well, you know . . . make her body his playground. Who knows? Maybe she spoke up to 'papa'. Or maybe women liked Ann Curry more than Lauer. I sure did.

This article, read again against the backdrop of Lauer's outrageous and uneven grillings of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 election cycle, send the message that strong, competent women go nowhere in Matt Laurer's world. If you didn't kiss Lauer's butt -- LITERALLY -- you're not going anywhere.

How many other Matt Lauers are out there? As painful as these last months have been for women, let's take them the hell down if they fit the Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, misogynist models. ~ Anne

NBC Fires 'Today' Show Co-Host Matt Lauer Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

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NBC Fires 'Today' Show Co-Host Matt Lauer Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

NBC has fired its leading morning news anchor Matt Lauer over sexual harassment allegations, the network’s president for news said in a memo to staff on Wednesday. 

NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said the accusation against Laurer by a colleague was a "clear violation of our company's standards."

Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, 59, since he took over as anchor of the show in 1997, but there was "reason to believe" it wasn't an isolated incident.

Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Variety dropped a story on its own two-month-long investigation. A key finding of the piece is that Lauer's sexually-predatory behavior was no secret at NBC News. Surely, one concludes, not all the women at NBC could possibly be so shocked over Matt Lauer's alleged behavior. 

It began with the button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from inside without getting up, two accusers told Variety. Gone was the fear of someone walking in on Lauer while he was doing his business. What happened next is every bit as gross as the Charlie Rose allegations. 

According to Variety, Lauer allegedly sexually harassed several female colleagues, including an instance in which he “summoned a . . . female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis,” then  reprimanding the “visibly shaken” employee for “not engaging in a sexual act.” Three women who identified themselves to Variety as victims of Lauer’s sexual harassment, coupled with dozens of NBC staffers past and present told other stories about NBC's big star, including gifting a female colleague with a sex toy (complete with an “explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her”), inviting young female employees to his hotel room while on assignment covering the Olympics, asking female producers about their sex partners and "offering to trade names" and playing "fuck, marry or kill" with staffers. Lauer was often open about which of his co-stars he'd prefer to sleep with.

And it seems that the married Lauer -- who maintains a distant relationship with his wife -- had an insatiable sexual appetite. 

NBC's Andrea Mitchell Says She's Never Seen Such A Lying White House In Her Long Career

NBC's Andrea Mitchell Says She's Never Seen Such A Lying White House In Her Long Career

Veteran reporter Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of MSNBC's 'Andrea Mitchell Reports' spares no words in her new interview for The Global Politico weekly podcast on world affairs in the Trump era.

Mitchell has covered every US president since Jimmy Carter and she declares that Trump is the most hostile to the press she's ever seen. Same for telling the truth, says the 70-year-old breast cancer survivor who outpaces reporters half her age. Mitchell is pushing back hard against a White House staff using the briefing room as a daily disinformation machine. Both the president and secretary of state are making every attempt to undermine the ability of reporters to do their job, says Mitchell. 

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