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Today

TODAY.


In 1952, no network television programming was scheduled earlier than 10:00 a.m. (EST). NBC president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver created Today with the idea that people might watch TV early in the morning before going to work and sending their children off to school. The two-hour show, running from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (EST), was designed to unfold in small modular segments, with the expectation that few viewers would watch from beginning to end. News, interviews, feature stories, and weather were combined in an informal style by friendly hosts. Today went on the air on 14 January 1952 and has remained there with relatively minor changes ever since. It was not until 1954 that another network, CBS, scheduled a program, The Morning Show, in the same time slot, and it was not until the 1970s, when Good Morning, America was introduced on ABC, that any program challenged the ratings dominance of Today. Fifty years after the beginning of Today, all early morning network shows were essentially copies of it. Today replaced the daily newspaper as a first source of information for millions of Americans at the start of each day, providing news and weather reports as well as discussions of books, trends, and other cultural and domestic topics.

From 1952 to 1961, the Today team included Dave Garroway, Betsy Palmer, Jack Lescoulie, Frank Blair, and for a few years of comic relief, a chimpanzee named J. Fred Muggs. In 1961, the news department at NBC took over production of the show, and the lead host position went successively to John Chancellor (19611962), Hugh Downs (19621971), and Frank McGee (19711974). Barbara Walters became the first woman to co-host the show, which she did from 1974 to 1976. Walters was paired with a series of co-hosts until Jim Hartz got the permanent job. In 1976, Walters and Hartz were replaced by Tom Brokaw (19761981) and Jane Pauley (19761989). Subsequent hosts included Bryant Gumbel (19821997), Deborah Norville (19891991), Katie Couric (1991), and Matt Lauer (1997).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kessler, Judy. Inside Today: The Battle for the Morning. New York: Villard, 1992.

Metz, Robert. The Today Show: An Inside Look at Twenty-five Tumultuous Years. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1977.

Robert Thompson

See also Television: Programming and Influence .

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today

to·day / təˈdā/ • adv. on or in the course of this present day: she's thirty today he will appear in court today. ∎  at the present period of time; nowadays: millions of people today cannot afford adequate housing. • n. this present day: today is a day of rest today's game against the Blue Jays. ∎  the present period of time: the powerful computers of today today's society.

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today

today today you; tomorrow me proverbial saying, mid 13th century; earlier in Latin, ‘hodie tibi, cras mihi [today it is my turn, tomorrow yours].’ The saying is often used in the context of the inevitability of death to each person.

See also what Manchester says today.

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today

today on this very day OE.; in these days XIII; sb. this day XVI; this present time XIX. OE. tōdæġ, f. TO + dæġ DAY.

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today

todayaffray, agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, gay, Gaye, Genet, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, hay, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sleigh, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, spray, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, weigh, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea

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