This week, viewers may have been surprised to tune in to NBC Nightly News and see Savannah Guthrie's smiling face instead of Lester Holt's. Lester has been anchoring the Peacock Network's evening newscast for two-and-a-half years now, but he had to call in sick on Tuesday, Feb. 20, according to TVNewser.
Apparently, Lester returned from his Olympics coverage in PyeongChang, South Korea with the flu. He arrived back in the states on Saturday, Feb. 17 and was able to deliver the news the next two nights, but then he had to bow out. (One sweet commenter on the TVNewser post gave the ailing journalist some advice: "Get lots of rest, eat plenty of chicken soup. Miss your broadcast.")
Lester's absence means Savannah has had to pull double duty, hosting Today until late night Pyeongchang time, and then waking up early to anchor NBC Nightly News. That routine must be exhausting — Lester better be paying for her Starbucks runs!
Illness aside, the veteran newscaster seems to have enjoyed his time in South Korea. "It's a really nice distraction," he told Business Insider earlier this month. "There is something about the Olympics that kind of transcends politics. Frankly, one of the reasons I look forward to it is it gives us a little bit of a break, not that we don't cover politics, but it gives us a chance to focus on something that is truly unifying." The 58-year-old continued, "But more than a distraction, it's great to see young athletes — and not just American athletes but kids from around the world — who work their butts off year in and year out, and they get this shot every four years, and if they're lucky, they come away with a medal and people remember their names. It's just fun to be a part of."
Not only did Lester enjoy being there, NBC must have been glad here was there, too. NBC Nightly News ranked as the #1 most-watched evening broadcast among 25-to-54-year-old news viewers for the first week of the Olympics, continuing an 87-week streak. So basically, in the 2018 Evening News Games, Lester gets the gold medal, right?