Well, this is unexpected!
According to a new report, Savannah Guthrie was forced to cut her maternity leave short and return to Today because executives were “panicked” about the show’s decreased ratings in her absence.
“The show was in a free fall. She initially announced that she’d be returning on Friday, March 3, but they were in a panic… and called her back early,” an industry insider recently told Page Six.
Savannah returned to Today four days earlier than expected on Monday, Feb. 27. She took a nearly three-month break off of work following the birth of her baby son, Charley, in early December 2016.
The 45-year-old TV star surprised her co-anchor, Matt Lauer, and co-stars Lester Holt and Bryant Gumbel — who helped fill-in during Savannah’s absence — by coming back early on Feb. 27.
“Their bro-show didn’t work. They needed Savannah to bail them out, so they rushed her from maternity leave. NBC claimed it was because of the influx of news, but the reality is that the show was down double-digits and they needed her,” the source revealed.
Unfortunately, Savannah isn’t the only Today star to have left the show in recent months. Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer similarly began her maternity leave in late 2016 and gave birth to her first baby, son Calvin, on Dec. 17.
The Today cast on Halloween in October 2016.
Months earlier, both Natalie Morales and Willie Geist exited Today in August 2016. Willie was replaced by Billy Bush in the show’s third hour, but Billy was later fired from Today’s Take after a controversial interview with Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and the emergence of past, scandalous video footage of himself with then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
In February 2017, Tamron Hall announced her abrupt departure from Today leading many fans to speculate Megyn Kelly‘s addition to the team caused her to exit the show. Then, in mid-February, Hoda Kotb also began her maternity leave after adopting her newborn daughter, Haley.
Click through the gallery below to see all the Today anchors through the years!
1 of 15
2 of 15
3 of 15
4 of 15
5 of 15
6 of 15
7 of 15
8 of 15
9 of 15
10 of 15
11 of 15
12 of 15
13 of 15
14 of 15
15 of 15