NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday welcomed Willie Geist, the MSNBC newsman and occasional comedian, as the new co-host of its 9 a.m. hour.
The network confirmed that Mr. Geist would become a permanent presence on “Today,” where he has regularly filled in for Matt Lauer this year. His impending appointment was first reported last month.
Mr. Geist is currently the host of the irreverent 5:30 a.m. newscast “Way Too Early” and a co-host of the 6-to-9 a.m. “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, a favorite of political junkies. He said in an interview that he will continue co-hosting the 6 a.m. hour of “Morning Joe” because he “wanted to keep a foot in the ‘Morning Joe’ political world.’”
Then, he said, “I’ll jog across the street and finish prepping for the 9 a.m. hour.” (The “Today” studio is in a building across 49th Street from MSNBC’s studio, both at Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan.)
“Way Too Early,” which was conceived by Mr. Geist three years ago, will continue, but with a new host. He or she has not been chosen.
Mr. Geist’s appointment on “Today” will begin Nov. 12, the Monday after the presidential election. He will replace Savannah Guthrie, the previous 9 a.m. host, who was promoted to co-host the flagship 7-to-9 a.m. hours earlier this year after NBC removed Ann Curry from the position.
Mr. Geist’s transition is intended to be a smooth one, unlike Ms. Curry’s. He appeared on the show on Wednesday morning to talk about his promotion, and he’ll continue to show up in advance of the appointment date. “I do expect there will be some Halloween hazing, although they won’t tell me what it is yet,” he said in the interview, referring to the show’s annual Halloween costume episode.