The TODAY show’s Willie Geist, 41, is known for his quick wit, innocent banter, and unique spin on the news. The humorist, TV personality, and journalist is the co-host of Today’s third hour, also known as “Today’s Take”, with Al Roker and Tamron Hall.
The Evanston, Illinois native has two children with Christina Sharkey, and graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville where he got his start as a journalist contributing to the school newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler.
Find out more about the multi-morning show host below.
1. He’s a Co-Anchor of TODAY‘s Third Hour and Anchor of Sunday Today
In 2012, Willie was promoted from MSNBC’s Way Too Early host to the TODAY show’s third hour co-anchor. He also subs for Matt Lauer in the earlier segments when needed.
He is also the co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. It’s on from 6-9 a.m. when Geist then switches over to Today.
In April 2016, Sunday Today premiered, which Willie is the solo-anchor of.
2. He’s a New York Times Bestselling Author
Willie authored the 2010 New York Times bestseller American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures, which is exactly that: a satire placing real public icons in ridiculous fictional scenarious. He is also the co-author Loaded! Become a Millionaire Overnight and Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks or Your Money Back!, another satire, this time of the self-help genre.
His latest book is one he co-wrote with his journalist dad, Bill Geist, and titled Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees…and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have.
3. Willie’s Dad is a News Anchor
Bill Geist is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. He joined the CBS News team in 1987.
Prior to joining CBS News, he was a columnist for The New York Times and a reporter and columnist from the The Chicago Tribune. Bill served as a combat photographer with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1969, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, according to CBS News.
Bill has been honored with three Emmy Awards for his work on CBS Sunday Morning and in 2011 was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to CBS News.
4. Willie Started in Sports
According to his bio on NBC News, before coming to MSNBC, Willie was in sports television. He was a producer and writer for the critically-acclaimed sports debate show I, Max, hosted by Max Kellerman on Fox Sports Net. Before that, Willie was an editor and producer for CNN/Sports Illustrated, a 24-hour sports network based in Atlanta. Then he became a field producer and reporter for CNN Sports, where he covered The Super Bowl, The NCAA Final Four, The Masters and The United States Lawn Mower Racing circuit.
5. He Was Fired in 2014…Sort Of
In 2014, NBC went a little wild trying to beat Good Morning America‘s ratings. An NBC source revealed to Us Weekly in November of 2014 that co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales “were recently told they were fired.” The insider told Us that Willie had a gig lined up at CBS, where his dad works.
However, soon after the news broke about Willie and Natalie, NBC removed general manager Jamie Horowitz, “the most vocal proponent of the changes,” according to Us Weekly. At that point, it became unclear whether or not they were ever fired and if they were, how NBC wooed them back, and we might never know the truth.
A rep for NBC denied the rumors in a statement to Us Weekly:
NBC’s Today has the best anchor team in morning television. The entire Today show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.