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Today Show's Savannah Guthrie and co-stars look so different in photos from early career – Hoda Kotb, Katie Couric, more

The Today Show has been an NBC staple for over seven decades


Savannah Guthrie© Getty Images
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
September 28, 2023
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The anchors of the Today Show on NBC have become TV stars in their own right, attracting fans around the country (and the world) for their effervescent personalities and reliable presence.

The individual paths some of the most popular hosts of the show have taken to get where they are now, though, are startling, and as the show settles into a new season, let's take a look at where they started.

Here are some of the most incredible photos from popular Today anchors like Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Katie Couric, and more from the start of their career…

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Savannah Guthrie

Savannah, 51, has had quite the journey to her co-anchor position on Today. She first started with KMIZ, an ABC affiliate station, in the early '90s, and after working in Missouri and Arizona, she moved to Washington D.C., where she joined WRC-TV.

Savannah Guthrie© Getty Images
Savannah Guthrie as a CourtTV correspondent circa 2004

However, she then stepped away from broadcast journalism and returned to school, obtaining a law degree and working with a legal firm. She made her comeback in 2004 with a correspondent job for CourtTV before joining NBC News as a correspondent in 2007.

She gradually moved up the ranks, being named co-anchor of Third Hour in 2011 and finally, in 2012, was made co-anchor of the main Today alongside Matt Lauer. She was then joined by Hoda Kotb in 2017 when Matt was fired, and they've led the show ever since, the first female duo to do so.

Al Roker

Al, 69, has been a TV staple for decades, beginning his career with NBC with the Cleveland station WKYC back in 1978, which was then an NBC owned-and-operated network.

American television weatherman and writer Al Roker, New York City, 10th June 1988.© Getty Images
Al Roker during his early days with Today and NBC in 1988

Five years later, he earned a promotion to WNBC-TV, which brought him back to his hometown of New York City, where he has remained to this day.

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He made regular appearances on Today and other NBC weather and news segments throughout the late '80s and early '90s, eventually becoming the Today Show's regular weekday weather forecaster in 1996 and began hosting Third Hour in 2012.

Katie Couric

Katie, 66, has had a long and illustrious broadcast career, getting her start with ABC in 1979 and later working with CNN before joining NBC News and Today in 1989 as a political correspondent.

Washington, DC. 6-15-1991 Katie Couric of NBC's "Today Show" in the studio Credit: Mark Reinstein© Getty Images
Katie Couric just before being named the permanent co-anchor of Today in 1991

She began serving as a substitute anchor in 1991 and later that year, was named the permanent anchor of Today with Bryant Gumbel. She remained in that position till 2006, the second-longest tenure of an anchor on Today.

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During her time, she also reported extensively for Dateline and other NBC talk shows. After ending her NBC run, she has worked with CBS, CNN, and ABC as well.

Dylan Dreyer

Dylan, 42, is one of the newer members of the Today team. After stints with local stations as a meteorologist during the late aughts, she joined NBC News in 2012 after five years with the former NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston.

TODAY -- Pictured: Dylan Dreyer appears on NBC News' "Today" show© Getty Images
Dylan Dreyer during her early days with NBC News in 2013

She started as a weather reporter for Weekend Today, becoming a weekday correspondent for the weather and other assignments soon after. In 2018, she was named co-host of Third Hour in its new format.

SEE: Today hosts celebrate new anchor's promotion live on air – watch

Since then, she has filled in for Al on the main Today for the daily forecasts and, in 2021, announced her departure from Weekend Today after welcoming her third son, Rusty.

Hoda Kotb

Hoda, 59, got her start in broadcast journalism in the mid '80s right out of college, remaining the longest with CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans, from 1992-98.

TODAY -- Co-Anchor Hoda Kotb speaks with News Anchor Ann Curry about her battle with breast cancer on NBC News' Today on October 18, 2007© Getty Images
Hoda Kotb in 2007, when she was first named co-host of Fourth Hour

She then joined NBC News as a correspondent for Dateline NBC and other platforms. In 2007, she was made the host of Fourth Hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, and was then joined by Jenna Bush Hager in 2019, now called Today with Hoda and Jenna.

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After being a frequent substitute on Today, in 2017, she began hosting the morning news show alongside Savannah Guthrie when Matt was terminated. On January 2, 2018, it was made official and she and Savannah became the show's first leading female duo.

Jenna Bush Hager

Jenna, 41, has had a much different journey to NBC compared to the rest, first rising to prominence as the daughter of the 43rd US President George W. Bush and granddaughter of 41st POTUS George H.W. Bush.

TODAY -- Jenna Bush Hager -- Jenna Bush Hager makes her debut as a "Today" correspondent © Getty Images
Jenna Bush Hager on her first day as a Today correspondent in 2009

Following her highly publicized teenage years, she began her professional life as a teacher (just like her FLOTUS mom Laura Bush) and writer, eventually making her way to NBC in 2009 as a correspondent.

She was named correspondent and contributor for Today later that year and, after frequently filling in for Hoda and Kathie Lee on Fourth Hour, was named permanent co-host with Hoda in 2019. That same year, she also started her monthly book club, Read with Jenna, on the Today Show.

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