Which 'Today' Hosts Lasted the Longest?
Savannah Guthrie: 6 years, 5 months and counting
Guthrie made headlines alongside Hoda Kotb in January when the two women became Today’s first all-female anchor team. “It was obvious to everyone who saw it, including our bosses, that this worked,” Guthrie later told The Hollywood Reporter. “And the fact that we were both women was secondary.”
Hugh Downs: 9 years
Downs hosted Today from 1962 to 1971, but he had an even longer run on ABC’s 20/20, co-anchoring that show for more than 20 years. He retired from TV in 1999 and is now 97 years old.
Dave Garroway: 9 years, 5 months
Garroway hosted the show from 1952 to 1961, during which time he also emceed an NBC variety program called The Dave Garroway Show. He died in 1982 but is immortalized with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Barbara Walters: 9 years, 8 months
Walters co-hosted Today from 1966 to 1976 before transferring to ABC and becoming the first woman to co-anchor an evening news broadcast with her spot on ABC Evening News. She later co-hosted ABC’s 20/20 and The View.
Kathie Lee Gifford: 10 years, 8 months and counting
Gifford, who joined Today’s fourth hour half a year after its debut, just announced her decision to leave the show in the upcoming months. “I have been in this business 120 years and never worked with a more beautiful group of people who just give, give, give every day, four hours of live television five days a week,” she told viewers on December 11.
Hoda Kotb: 11 years, 3 months and counting
After nearly a decade with NBC News, Kotb helped launch Today’s fourth hour in 2007. Then she became interim co-anchor of Today in November 2017 following the firing of Matt Lauer, and that promotion made permanent this January.
Jane Pauley: 13 years, 2 months
Pauley succeeded Walters and co-hosted Today from 1976 to 1989. She returned to the show for in 2013 for a weekly segment called “Your Life Is Calling.” And in 2016, she began her job hosting CBS Sunday Morning — almost 40 years to the day after her Today debut.
Bryant Gumbel: 15 years
Gumbel hosted today from 1982 to 1997, famously broadcasting the show from such remote locales as Russia, Vietnam, and Vatican City. For the past 23 years, he’s been hosting Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel on HBO.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
Katie Couric: 15 years, 1 month
One of the best-known Today hosts, Couric co-anchored the show from 1991 until 2006, when she left to host CBS Evening News and scored a $15 million yearly salary. She returned for a week-long Today co-hosting stint in 2017 in honor of Lauer’s 20th anchor anniversary. Speaking of whom…
Matt Lauer: 20 years, 10 months
Couric’s longtime co-anchor was axed from the show in November 2017 after NBC News received a complaint about his “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Variety later reported on the accusations of three women who said they were sexually harassed by the now-disgraced host.
Al Roker: 22 years, 10 months and counting
Roker is way more than just Today’s resident meteorologist. He also co-anchored the show’s third hour for nearly five years before Megyn Kelly Today came along, and he has done so in the weeks since Kelly’s show was canceled. Fun fact: Roker set a Guinness World Record in 2014 after reporting the weather for 34 hours straight.
Today might not be the revolving door that other morning programs are, but the NBC show has still had a ton of turnover in its six-and-a-half decades on the airwaves.
Just recently, Kathie Lee Gifford announced she’ll be leaving the program after nearly 11 years, a tenure that ranks her among Today's longest-running hosts.
Click through the gallery above for the rest of the ranking!
The longtime host is leaving the network in April.