— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 6, 2017
When Lauer, 59, walked out onto the plaza, he was greeted by a line of cheering friends and coworkers. At the very end appeared Guthrie, who gave birth to her son Charley in December, along with meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, who also made a special return from maternity leave.
“I couldn’t miss it,” Guthrie, 45, told Lauer while giving him a big hug. He remarked that it was the first time the pair had seen each other since he visited her in the hospital the day Charley was born.
Guthrie, who was named coanchor in 2012, said a few heartfelt words about working alongside the veteran journalist . “Matt, you know this, but I’ve looked up to you all my life, because you’re so old,” she joked. “I just want to say we adore you. I want to show you the control room right now because it’s full of Matt fans and also in the studio,” she said before the camera panned to a room full of people in “20” shirts.
She continued to praise Lauer for how he treats his fellow staffers. “One of the things that is so wonderful about you is that from the second I walked in here, one of the things I noticed is that Matt not only knows every single person’s first name and last name, he knows the name of their dog. He knows how their mother is doing in Boca Raton,” Guthrie said.
Lauer — who was promoted from the Today show’s news anchor to coanchor on January 6, 1997, alongside then-cohost Katie Couric — expressed his appreciation for Guthrie and all the people behind the scenes at the morning program. “Nobody does a day on this show, much less 20 years on this show, without these people right here,” he said. “They are the backbone of this show, the absolute heart of this show.”
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