Ann Curry said a tearful goodbye to her Today show "family" this morning, but the show's producers left viewers in the lurch when they failed to reveal who will take Curry's place in the anchor chair. Industry insiders rushed to fill that information vacuum, almost unanimously predicting that Savannah Guthrie, who currently hosts the 9 a.m. hour of the show, is the favorite for the anchor spot. Here are some things you should know about the woman who most likely will succeed Curry, Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric, Jane Pauley, and Barbara Walters (no pressure, lady).
Where She's From
Guthrie, 40, was born in Melbourne, Australia, but moved to Tucson, Ariz., two years later. She stayed in the state for college and began her journalism career there on local news. Not knowing that she would go on to report on the White House, she titled her senior paper in college "Why the White House Press Corps Should Be Evicted." She got an A+.
She's Also a Lawyer
After receiving her B.A. in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1993, she graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law Center in 2002. She received the top score on the Arizona bar exam in 2002 and is also a member of the District of Columbia bar. While she did practice as a lawyer for a short time, Court TV soon managed to snag her to cover cases instead of arguing them.
She's a Rising Star
She joined NBC just five years ago, in 2007, as a legal analyst, but she soon spread out to other areas. She covered the 2008 presidential race, following Sarah Palin from Alaska to San Antonio to D.C. and several cities in between. Her "meteoric rise" at the network has lots of people talking.
You Can Already Catch Her on Today
Guthrie is currently the host of the third hour of Today and its chief legal analyst. Before moving to Today in 2011, she was NBC News’s White House correspondent and host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, where she could be seen singing the occasional duet with her co-host, Chuck Todd.
In an interview last year, she compared breastfeeding in public with using the restroom, saying, "You wouldn't go to the bathroom in public." Her statement angered breastfeeding advocates and mommy bloggers all over the Internet, causing them to launch a Twitter assault on Today.
She Gets to the Nitty-Gritty
Her favorite interview tactic? "Try to think of the one question they'd rather not be asked—just to see what they would say." During an interview of Michele Bachmann during the presidential primaries, Guthrie tried just that, showing a clip of Bachmann making false statements and then asking her, "If you want to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, do you feel the need to be more precise in your statements so that people recognize you are a person of substance?"
She Suffers From Ranidaphobia
You read that right: Savannah Guthrie is terrified of frogs. She revealed her fear on-air when animals from a "frog-jumping jubilee" came to visit. "Get that frog away from me!" she yelled at co-host Matt Lauer when he held one up to her.