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The Today Show

From Academic Kids

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Today logo

Today (commonly referred to as The Today Show) is currently, a long-running morning news show airing on the NBC television network in the United States. It was originally spun off from a morning radio show similarly called Today. It first aired on January 14, 1952 at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Time).

When Today started in 1952, it was seen only in the Eastern and Central time zones, broadcasting three hours a morning but seen for only two hours in each time zone. Later, Today aired live for five hours a morning, but it was seen for only two hours in each time zone. Since 1958, Today is tape-delayed for the different time zones. For many years it was a two-hour program from seven to nine ET, until NBC expanded it to three hours (7-10 A.M. Eastern Time/Pacific Time; 6-9 A.M. Central Time/Mountain Time) on October 2, 2000.

Today was the first of its genre when it first signed on with host Dave Garroway. The show successfully blends national news headlines, in-depth interviews with newsmakers, lifestyle features, other light news and gimmicks (including the presence of the chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs as the show's mascot during the early years), and local news updates. It has spawned several other shows of a similar type, including ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's The Early Show, and the Canadian series, Canada AM.

The show broadcasts from studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, New York, just across the street from NBC headquarters at the GE Building. The studio is located right next to the street and many times the hosts do the weather or other events from outside.

Today was the brainchild of Pat Weaver, who was then vice-president of NBC. Later, he became president of the company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as chairman of the board for another year.

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June 2003 PR shot for the Today show

The show is currently hosted by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and Ann Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Both Roker and Curry have recently started interviewing guests and taking part in other segments in addition to their weather and news duties.

One popular monthly feature is "Spanning the World" with WNBC-TV sports anchor Len Berman. "Spanning" is a reel of odd and intresting sports highlights from the past month, with a recorded introduction and closing by Don Pardo. This segment also airs on WNBC's NewsChannel 4 at 6PM and 11 PM on a monthly basis.

Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Joe Garagiola, Deborah Norville, Jane Pauley, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, and Floyd Kalber. Popular former weathercaster Willard Scott still appears on the show daily doing the 100th birthday announcements he first became famous for in the 1980s. The birthday announcements are sponsored by Smuckers.

There's an early morning version of the show, called Early Today that now airs on NBC's cable counterpart MSNBC and on many NBC affiliates. In 1999, a later version of Today called Later Today was launched with hosts Jodi Applegate, Florence Henderson, and Asha Blake; sagging ratings in that final hour caused its cancellation.

WEEKEND TODAY

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Weekend Today hosts Campbell Brown and Lester Holt.

The Sunday edition of NBC News' Today premiered on September 20, 1987. Five years later, on August 1, 1992, the Saturday edition made its debut, expanding the broadcast schedule of the Today franchise to seven days a week. The program is broadcast from Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

The weekend broadcasts continue the Today tradition of covering breaking news, interviewing newsmakers, reporting on a variety of popular-culture and human-interest stories, covering health and finance issues and presenting the latest weather reports. In addition, the show offers visitors to New York City a chance to observe firsthand the workings of a live television broadcast with its windowed studio on Rockefeller Plaza. Interaction with the crowd outside the studio is a major part of the program.

Weekend editions are tailored to the priorities and interests of weekend viewers—offering special series such as "Saturday Today on the Plaza," featuring live performances by the biggest names in music and Broadway outside the studio throughout the summer.

Alex Wallace is the executive producer of Weekend Today.

Weekend Today is currently hosted by Lester Holt and Campbell Brown with weather reports from Janice Huff on Saturdays and Sean McLaughlin on Sundays. MSNBC's Natalie Morales and Amy Robach report the daily news headlines from the newsdesk.

The program is watched by more viewers than ABC's Good Morning America Weekend and CBS's Saturday Early Show.

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