America’s journalism sweetheart is returning to her Today roots. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Katie Couric will be returning to Today for a week in the new year. Couric will be filling in for co-host Savannah Guthrie, who is on maternity leave.
Couric’s week of hosting will start on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 and will end on Friday, Jan. 6.
Couric’s weeklong hosting gig will reunite her with Matt Lauer, her co-host when she was on Today. The two anchored the show together starting in 1997, when Lauer was promoted to co-anchor, through 2006, when Couric left the show. Together, they are the most successful pairing of Today co-hosts.
Couric first started working on Today in 1989 as a national political correspondent. She became a temporary co-host in 1991 and became a permanent co-host in April of the same year.
She left Today in May 2006 in order to anchor CBS Evening News, which she did from 2006 to 2011. She joined ABC News in 2011 and continues to work with them and Yahoo. With Yahoo, Couric is a global anchor of their news program. She also works on special features for both Yahoo and ABC.
Once Couric returned to ABC (which was her second job after a brief stint at CNN), she became the first person to work for all of The Big Three networks, which consists of ABC, CBS and NBC.
This isn’t the first time that Couric has made appearances on Today since leaving in 2006, but this will be the first time she’s returned to NBC to co-host Today‘s 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. hours.
Couric was rumored to temporarily fill-in when Guthrie went on maternity leave with her first child in 2014, but that never came to light.
Bringing back Couric may have some incentive to NBC. In 2012, ABC’s Good Morning America overtook Today in terms of ratings and the demographic to be the number one morning news program. Up until that point, Today had been the number one morning news program for 852 weeks. But because of changes happening at GMA recently, Today has started to gain ground on their rival news show. Today is in a close second by about 100,000 viewers and has overtaken GMA as the number one rated morning news program in the 25 to 54 age demographic.