Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Open Up About Their First Olympics Without Matt Lauer
"There's no question this has been a transition," Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie tells PEOPLE of covering the Winter Olympics without former colleague Matt Lauer
Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie‘s Today show block kicks off at 7 a.m. ET on weekdays. But now, broadcasting the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea, has required the newswomen to flip their schedules.
“Our show is on at 9 at night, so we’re going to find out, are we night people?” Guthrie, 46, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issues. “We know we’re morning people!”
Adds executive producer Libby Leist: “I haven’t been up at midnight since college!”
The co-anchors, both new moms, are also getting used to time apart from their little ones. Kotb adopted daughter Hayley last February, and Guthrie and husband Michael Feldman are parents to daughter Vale, 3, and son Charley, 14 months.
“Hoda and I both thought very seriously about bringing the kids because mostly we just don’t want to be apart from them for two weeks,” Guthrie says. “That’s the only thing that’s got our hearts aching a little bit. But I think in this situation with the time change, the 17-hour flight, it just didn’t make sense for the kids. We’d be happy to see them, but I don’t know that they’d be so happy sitting around in a hotel room in the freezing cold. I hope in future Olympics that we’ve got a whole little junior team.”
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“There’s no question this has been a transition,” Guthrie admits. “We’re just trying to move forward and appreciate the good situation we have now and we’ll just continue to try to do our best.”
- For more on Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
Kotb, 53, calls this time a “transitional period,” adding, “You just have to accept that this is the way it is, and we’re just making our way. And we both love sports, we both love the Olympics, and I think we’re going to end up having a great time.”
Guthrie adds, “You can’t overthink it. You just have to the show you know how to do, and that’s what I think we’re trying to do. We have a great story to tell because the Olympics is just pure, unmitigated joy. It’s a happy story for our country; It’s something that everybody can do together. It’s great to have the show revolve around that for a couple of weeks.”
“I feel great, and it’s especially exciting that we’re heading to the Olympics because I know that this is going to be a great time to showcase Hoda and Savannah together,” Leist says. “I have tremendous gratitude that I get to work with these two ladies. They are top-notch journalists. They are hilariously funny. They have huge hearts. And that’s everything we want for the Today show, and I’m just excited to keep that going and keep this momentum going.”