The University of Arizona

UA Alumna Savannah Guthrie Named Co-Anchor of 'Today'

By Kate Harrison, School of Journalism | June 29, 2012

Savannah Guthrie earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the UA in 1993 and served as commencement speaker in 2011.

Savannah Guthrie, a graduate of the UA School of Journalism, will co-anchor NBC's
Savannah Guthrie, a graduate of the UA School of Journalism, will co-anchor NBC's "TODAY.", Savannah Guthrie, center, was a UA commencement speaker in 2011. She has been named co-anchor of "TODAY" with Matt Lauer. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
Savannah Guthrie, a graduate of the UA School of Journalism, will co-anchor NBC's
Savannah Guthrie, a graduate of the UA School of Journalism, will co-anchor NBC's "TODAY.", Savannah Guthrie, center, was a UA commencement speaker in 2011. She has been named co-anchor of "TODAY" with Matt Lauer. (Photo by Patrick McArdle/UANews)
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Savannah Guthrie, a 1993 UA School of Journalism graduate who co-hosts the third hour of NBC's "Today," has been named co-anchor of the show with Matt Lauer, the network announced June 29.

Guthrie joined the show in June 2011 after spending three years as NBC's White House correspondent and chief legal affairs reporter. In that role, she contributed to all NBC News properties, including "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Today" and MSNBC.

Covering the 2008 presidential elections, Guthrie travelled with Sarah Palin's campaign and was part of the NBC team that ultimately won an Emmy for its coverage on election night.

Prior to joining NBC News in September 2007, Guthrie was the legal affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C. for "Court TV" from 2006-07. She joined "Court TV" from the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld where she focused on white-collar litigation.

Guthrie covered Congress, the Supreme Court and high-profile court proceedings including the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, the Scooter Libby case and the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings.

"Savannah was a terrific student whose thoughtful approach enabled her to challenge conventional wisdom and to bring important and original insights to her reporting and writing," said Jacqueline Sharkey, former director of the School of Journalism who had Guthrie in class in the early 1990s.

From 2004-06, Guthrie was a national trial correspondent for "Court TV." She reported on trials and court proceedings, including the Michael Jackson child molestation case, the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal and trial involving Father Paul Shanley and the sentencing of Martha Stewart.

From 2000-02, Guthrie was a freelance reporter at WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., where she covered the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and anthrax mailings.

She also was anchor and reporter for KVOA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Tucson, from 1995-99, specializing in legal affairs and politics. Prior to that Guthrie was an anchor and reporter for KMIZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Columbia, Mo., where her reporting earned her the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award from the Missouri Bar.

In 2002, Guthrie received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated magna cum laude. She was a member of Order of the Coif and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers' Student Advocacy award for her work with victims of domestic violence. She also received the top score on the Arizona Bar Exam in 2002.

Sharkey categorized Guthrie as "very serious about her responsibility to provide the public with information that people need to make informed decisions at the ballot box. Her law degree means that she brings legal perspectives to her work, which is invaluable when covering major events such as the Supreme Court's decisions about SB 1070 and the Obama administration's health-care initiative."

As a UA student, Guthrie wrote stories for The Tombstone Epitaph, the community newspaper the School of Journalism produces for the old West town; wrote and directed stories for "Arizona Illustrated," the nightly news magazine airing on Tucson's PBS affiliate; and interned with former Ariz. Gov. Fife Symington and Sen. Dennis DeConcini.

In May 2011, Guthrie represented the School of Journalism as the UA's commencement speaker.