Some of the most popular talk shows on TV are full of inspiring stories, memorable segments and entertaining hosts. But most viewers know that many programs have a rotating panel of hosts, with some retiring or completely disappearing after only a few seasons.
In 1952, Today debuted its first episode with Dave Garroway as the lead anchor. As the first morning program of its kind, the host pioneered the talk show format that viewers have come to know and love today. Garroway left the long-running series in 1961 but his contributions to the franchise have not been forgotten.
In the years that followed Garroway’s departure, so many talented hosts have taken a seat at the news desk on Today, including Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric, Ann Curry and more. The early ‘90s and mid-2000s ushered in a new class of hosts who have now become mainstays on the show like Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker.
In January 2022, Today celebrated its 70th anniversary and looked back on some of the show’s most iconic moments and past hosts. “I think the secret sauce why this show has lasted 70 years is its good company,” Hoda shared during the episode. Craig Melvin chimed in, adding, ”There’s no place this show hasn’t gone.”
One of Today’s biggest competitors in the morning TV lineup, Good Morning America, has also seen a number of hosts’ careers blossom during their time on the show. Joan Lunden, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson and other notable reporters have anchored GMA since its inception in 1975.
In November 2015, the ABC series celebrated its 40-year anniversary by bringing together hosts of the past and present to reflect on their careers.
“There is something very intimate about morning television,” Robin Roberts told The Los Angeles Times at the time. “People feel like you’re a part of their family. They grow up with you. And they see you grow up. There is no other place where you can share so much of yourself, and it’s expected. The viewers want that.”
Just as daytime talk shows often go through casting changes, so do late-night talk shows. David Letterman, who began his TV career as a weatherman, launched his own morning show in 1980. Two years later, he took over a nighttime spot with NBC’s Late Night With David Letterman before making his move to CBS with The Late Show With David Letterman. Letterman announced his retirement in 2015, with Stephen Colbert replacing him in the nightly lineup.
Keep scrolling to find out what happened to some of TV’s most notable talk show hosts.
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