Matt Lauer Will Take Over Bob Costas’ Olympics Hosting Duties

Matt Lauer replaces Bob Costas Olympic Coverage
Screenshot of Bob Costas' eyes
Bob Costas tried to fight through his eye infection but handling NBC’s Olympic primetime and late night hosting duties has proved to be too much for the anchor. Viewers have seen Costas’ eye infection grow worse since the Opening Ceremonies, and now the infection has spread to both eyes. It’s got to be uncomfortable for Costas – and, honestly, now it’s at the point where it’s also uncomfortable for viewers – so NBC’s tapped Today host Matt Lauer to take over for Costas.
 
This eye infection (maybe he shouldn’t have been washing his face with the water from the Sochi hotel faucets) has put an end to Costas’ streak of Olympic primetime shows. The February 11th primetime Olympics broadcast will mark the first time since 1998 that Costas hasn’t been the host, ending his streak at 157 nights.
 
“Bob has been a real trooper, but needs a night off. We’re fortunate to have such incredible talent to draw upon within the NBCU family, including Matt, someone I’ve worked with for many years,” said NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell. “Now I know how Chuck Daly felt with the 1992 Dream Team, substituting one Hall of Famer for another.”
 
“I saw Bob in the hotel this morning, and if ever there was a guy who looked like he needed a night off, it was him,” said Lauer. “I’m happy to keep his chair warm. Although I might Purell it before I sit in it!”
 
Here’s the statement from Costas, courtesy of NBC:

“It was becoming increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable, but if it was just that, I would have continued. We in broadcasting are lucky to have the jobs we do, and at one time or another, we’ve all gone on the air feeling less than our best.
 
“The difference is that last night and into this morning, it got to the point where, as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.
 
“If it was just discomfort, I’d be there. I’m receiving excellent treatment…it’s a viral infection, and all you can do is try to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course. But I’m hopeful that those symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast.
 
“Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

 
Source: NBC
 
-Posted by Rebecca Murray

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