What you need to know about Savannah Guthrie

Posted on: June 30th, 2012 by

Eric L. Bach CPAI’m sure those of you following this Ann Curry departure saga at the TODAY show are fairly regular watchers.  We are all familiar with Savannah, as she has been a legal correspondent, as well as a co-host during the 9 o’clock hour of the TODAY show.  She’s smart, she’s bubbly, and, yet, there is much more to her pretty face.  Here are 10 things you should, or may just want to know about your new co-host:

1. She’s not named for the city in Georgia. She was actually named after her great-grandmother. And her middle name is Clark. (So is her grandmother’s.)

2. Australia born, Arizona raised. Guthrie grew up in Tucson, Ariz., where she attended Amphitheater High School, graduating in the same class as Olympic medalist and NFL player Michael Bates.

But she was actually born in Melbourne, Australia, where her father was stationed for work. She lived there two years before the family returned to the United States.

3. Higher education. Guthrie earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1993, where she graduated cum laude.

Years later, in the midst of a thriving broadcast journalism career, Guthrie attended Georgetown University Law Center. She earned her Juris Doctor there in 2002, graduating magna cum laude.

Guthrie is also a teacher: She led a first-year Legal Research and Writing workshop for first-year Georgetown law students.

4. She scored highest in the Arizona bar exam. Of the 634 people who took the Arizona bar exam in July 2002, Guthrie scored the highest, according to the state Supreme Court.

After also passing the D.C. bar, she worked as a litigation associate, specializing in white-collar criminal defense at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a D.C. law firm.

5. Broadcasting bona fides. Guthrie got her first break in broadcast journalism in 1993 with a weekend anchor gig for the ABC affiliate in Columbia, Mo. In 1995, she moved back to Tucson to work as an anchor and reporter at the NBC affiliate.

She left for Washington, D.C., in 2000, where she worked as a freelance reporter at NBC affiliate WRC-TV, covering the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the 2001 anthrax mailings.

She joined Court TV (now truTV) in 2002 while working at Akin Gump, where she worked as the national trial correspondent, covering such high-profile cases as the Michael Jackson molestation case, the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal trial and the sentencing of Martha Stewart.

6. A quick rise at Today. After serving as NBC News White House correspondent from December 2008 to June 2011, reporting for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, Today and MSNBC (where she co-hosted The Daily Rundown for a little over a year), Guthrie was asked to join Today full time in June 2011 as co-host of the show’s third hour. She also serves as the show’s chief legal analyst.

7. She plays hardball. Guthrie has said that her approach to any interview is “to try to think of the one question they would rather not be asked, just to see what they would say.”

8. She isn’t immune to controversy. In a Today Show segment from August 2011, Guthrie asked a doctor guest if “it’s proper to breastfeed in public.” Later, she compared breastfeeding to going to the bathroom, saying, “You have to go to the bathroom but you don’t do that in public, hopefully. Is there a difference?”

The comments earned an angry protest on Twitter, where outraged moms marked their outraged tweets with the hashtag #NIP (a punny acronym for “not in public”).

9. She is single. Guthrie met her husband, then-BBC journalist Mark Orchard, while both covered the Jackson trial in 2005. The two married December 2005, but the marriage had dissolved by January 2009.

Guthrie was later romantically linked to political consultant Mi­chael Feldman, a former aide to Al Gore.

10. Her dream is to play guitar with Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin. She admitted this in a question-and-answer session with Today viewers.



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