Willie Geist tipped for 'Today' show co-host gig, Matt Lauer backup

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willie-geist-today-show-gi.jpgWillie Geist is making a big move from MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to NBC's "Today" as co-host in the 9 a.m. hour and a designated backup for Matt Lauer.

The promotion isn't official yet but was reported today by The New York Times' Media Decoder blog. Geist will regularly co-host the third hour of NBC's long-running morning show alongside Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Al Roker. His role as Lauer's backup covers the prime 7-9 a.m. hours which Lauer now fronts with Guthrie, following the departure of Ann Curry in July.

Geist is currently a fixture on MSNBC's early riser talk show "Morning Joe" with Joe Scarborough and hosts the cable news network's "Way Too Early" in the 5:30 a.m. half hour leading into "Morning Joe." Although Geist is expected to stay with "Morning Joe" in some capacity, he is not expected to continue anchoring "Way Too Early."

Lauer recently signed a new multi-year contract with "Today," but as Media Decoder notes, the backup role puts Geist on a shortlist of potential successors should Lauer ever leave the show.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images