Savannah Guthrie in Place After Curry

by | June 29, 2012 at 7:23 AM | The Today Show

Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer on Today (NBC)

NEW YORK — Savannah Guthrie was in Ann Curry’s former chair as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, with her official appointment expected later in the day.

Guthrie sat beside Matt Lauer, discussing stories about the Colorado wildfires and Supreme Court health care decision, and later making Fourth of July party decorations and dancing to a Maroon 5 concert. She replaced Curry, who was cut loose Thursday after one year as Lauer’s co-host.

NBC hasn’t said anything publicly about who will replace Curry full-time, and nothing was said on “Today.” The show’s introduction, which normally announces the show’s hosts, omitted that feature on Friday.

The turnover comes as NBC’s profitable morning show faces its most serious ratings challenge from ABC’s “Good Morning America” since the mid-1990s.

Guthrie, 40, is NBC’s chief legal analyst and had been co-host of the “Today” show’s third hour for the past year (the show currently stretches to four hours). She’s been at NBC since 2007. She covered Sarah Palin’s campaign and was NBC’s White House correspondent from 2008 to 2011.

Watch Ann Curry Announce Her “Today” Exit:

A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Guthrie has mostly worked in television but did take two years to practice law in Washington about a decade ago. She then went to Court TV. Guthrie worked in local television news in Tucson, Ariz., and Colombia, Mo., in the 1990s.

The “Today” show team appeared noticeably more comfortable Friday than during Curry’s last week of broadcasts. Guthrie joked with Lauer following a story about David Beckham being left off the British soccer team because at 37, he’s considered too old.

“He’s still young enough to be in those underwear ads, though,” she said. “There’s a silver lining.”

“Thanks for that,” Lauer replied.

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