NBC News will feature taped segments during the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours of “Today,” according to a person familiar with the matter, while co-anchors Al Roker and Craig Melvin remain at home, the latest change to some of TV’s best-known news programming in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus around the nation.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb will continue to anchor the morning franchise’s flagship 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. broadcast, this person said, and then provide a live news update at 9 a.m. before the program moves into previously aired content. Roker and Melvin, who are instrumental in both the 7 a.m . and 9 a.m. broadcasts, will not return to NBC News’ New York headquarters. The arrangements this person said, are subject to change as news and situations evolve.
NBC News declined to make executives available for comment, but NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in a memo late Sunday that a staffer who worked on the 9 a.m. hour had tested positively for the coronavirus, and that people who may came within close contact were being asked to self-quarantine.
The in-studio absence of Melvin and Roker makes production more difficult for the show’s 9 a..m. hour, where two other co-anchors – Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones – are both on leave. Dreyer recently had a new baby and Jones is on a medical break. The 10 a. m. hour is co-hosted by Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.
In an Instagram post Monday, Roker told followers he was well but would appear on “Today” live from his home. He is expected to offer weather updates from his kitchen, according to the person familiar with the matter.
The changes are the latest to affect some of the nation’s most-watched news entities. CBS News and ABC News have also grappled with discoveries that employees who tested positive for coronavirus. Some of the networks have had to dispatch employees to work from home and to keep staffers more distant from one another while in their home studios.