This morning, the Today show got a little scoop on the competition when anchor Savannah Guthrie announced to the world that she is pregnant with her second child.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 7, 2016
So what does this mean and how is this related to sports? Well as a result of the pregnancy, she won’t be in Rio when Today is based in Brazil during the duration of the Olympics. And to top it off, she won’t be co-hosting the Opening Ceremony as originally announced. Back in April, NBC said Guthrie, her Today show co-hort Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira would be the anchors for the Ceremony and the Parade of Nations. And while the above clip doesn’t show it, another reason she won’t be going is due to the Zika virus that’s been plauging Brazil.
Guthrie said, “I’m not going to be able to go to Rio. The doctors say that we shouldn’t because of the Zika virus.”
It would have been the third Olympics for Guthrie, but instead, she’ll anchor the show from the United States while most of the Today staff is in Rio.
NBCUniversal uses the Olympics as a promotional tool throughout its vast family of networks and Today is a huge part of push. During NBC’s stranglehold of broadcasting the 17 Days of Glory, Today has been on site whether it’s been in Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing, Vancouver, London or Sochi.
The Hollywood Reporter said NBC employees do have the right to opt out of going to the Olympics over Zika:
NBCUniversal has said that employees concerned about traveling to Rio are not required to go. And so far, a handful of employees have declined. Noah Oppenheim, NBC News senior vp and executive in charge of Today, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Zika has “not been a source of very much angst” at the news division. “We’ve created a transparent culture here where people feel very comfortable raising a hand and saying, ‘You know what? I’d rather not make this trip.’ ”
So Guthrie becomes the highest-profile NBCU employee to opt out and as Zika continues to spread throughout Brazil and into the United States, one cannot blame her decision to not go and stay in the U.S. to ensure a healthy pregnancy.