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Willie Geist named co-anchor of 'Today's' 9 a.m. edition

The incredible expanding career of Willie Geist continues -- the “Morning Joe” contributor was handed another “co” Wednesday morning: co-host of “Today's” 9 a.m. edition, where he'll share honors with Al Roker and Natalie Morales.

This was expected -- and first reported in The New York Times last week -- but it still sets up the inevitable question about succession on “Today,” too. Matt Lauer recently signed a “multiyear” deal (believed to be for three), but NBC also knows it has to begin the long careful process of getting a future “Today” anchor ready -- ready particularly for audiences that don't like surprises on their breakfast shows. Geist is very good -- smart, glib, skillful -- but still not that well known to the breadbasket viewers out there. The 9 a.m. stint will easily take care of the familiarity issue.

“We are thrilled to add Willie to the ‘Today’ team,” said “Today” chief Jim Bell in a statement. “He brings a solid news background with a keen sense of creativity and humor. From politics to pop culture, Willie is a skilled and versatile reporter who will make a great addition at 9 a.m. and contribute to the entire broadcast.”

Tags: willie geist , today show , msnbc , morning joe

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