‘Today’ tweaks open in ‘summer test’

Today” tried kicking off the show in a slightly different way Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

The change included having co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb appear on camera via a handheld push-in shot.

“Good morning it’s Monday … our top story … concern for the safety of law enforcement,” said Kotb right off the bat.

“Yeah, it’s all in the wake of that Mar-A-Lago search one week ago. It’s Aug. 15, this is ‘Today’,” Guthrie finished before the show’s signature three-note cue played.

This cue previously was the first thing heard on the show before one of the anchors begins reading tease headlines off-camera.

Now, there’s a lighter, more upbeat version of the notes that plays right before the anchors start talking.

Sources say the show is testing things out over the summer and notes the updated format allows both anchors to be seen on-camera immediately. That visual could help viewers feel more connected to the anchors in a way that a disembodied voice can’t quite accomplish. It’s also meant to add “energy” to the top of the show, according to sources.

This format is similar to how rival “Good Morning America” opens its broadcast by showing its trio of anchors on camera.

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“Today” retains its practice of only having one anchor, typically on an alternating basis, read the headlines in what is usually a pre-produced segment. 

The first tease in this segment builds on the story the anchors mentioned in their on-camera cold open and then proceeds to other top stories of the day.

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Also added is a brief new animation featuring the “Today” logo that serves as a transition from the anchor shot to teases. It notably uses the semicircle portion of the sunrise icon in the show’s logo to highlight the first on-screen headline text.

The end of the teases still wraps by incorporating the word “today” into a sentence before giving the date, including the day of the week.

After the headlines are done, the show still plays its normal open with announce. 

This does mean that the day of the week and date get mentioned twice in the open (while also appearing in the tease graphics and the LED header above the anchor desk), while the iconic “Today is ‘Today'” phrase is also used twice, though the first time is decidedly more casual. 

“Today” and “Good Morning America” are locked in a battle to claim the top prize in the morning news wars. “GMA” typically bests “Today” in total viewers, while NBC often brings in more in the key demos. 

Both networks are fond of trumpeting ratings wins — with various stipulations — to the media. Morning news is also a big revenue stream for networks, often playing a key role in the news division’s profitability. 

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