The Anchors and Today Girls of the Today Show

Today Show is one of the most famous television shows in the States that airs every morning on NBC. The show debuted on January 14 1952 and it is the first of its genre on American television and the world. Television stations all around the world have taken after the model of Show and have their own version. Originally, the show broadcasted two hours on weekdays and eventually expanded to weekends. 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 chimpanzee J.Fred Muggs as the show’s mascot during the early years. 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.

The show is filmed and produced at studio 1A in Rockefeller Centre, New York, just across 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 the 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. The show is currently hosted by Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer. Al Roker does weather updates and An Curry reads news headlines. Gene Shalit is the entertainment critic. Previous hosts have included Bryant Gumbel, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, 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.

From 1952 to 1964, a notable member of the cast was a woman, often an entertainer, the Today Girl. Usually, she would discuss fashion and lifestyle, report the weather, cover lighter fare stories or engage in verbal jousting with Garroway. Estelle Parsons was the first to hold the job, though her title at the time was Women’s Editor. Upon her departure in 1955, the The Today Girl name was adopted. The last to hold this position, Barbara Walters, discussed her job in her autobiography. She wrote that it was the era before the Women’s Movement, and it was believed that nobody could take a woman reporter seriously. In 1966, Walters was promoted to co-host alongside Hugh Downs. Today Show was and still is a great show.