Bob Costas eye issues continue to keep him out of the anchor chair so Meredith Vieira, special correspondent for TODAY, will fill in for him as host of tonight’s NBC primetime and late night coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. 8 p.m. on NBC.
Vieira is coming on in place of Matt Lauer, who has filled in for the last three days as Costas continues to deal with the effects of an infection that began in his left eye and spread to his right eye earlier this week.
Vieira is the first woman in U.S. television history to serve as solo host of the Olympics in primetime. She co-hosted the Opening Ceremony with Lauer last week, and has been in Sochi doing segments for TODAY on U.S. athletes to watch in the Games.
Early this afternoon for Sports Talk Florida I spoke to Vieira via conference call from Sochi about subbing tonight and possibly Saturday night for the ailing Costas.
JW: Given all the wonderful assignments you have had in your career. Where does hosting the Olympics rank?
Vieira: It is without question a very big deal. I must say that while I am only keeping the chair warm for Bob [Costas] I am excited about having the opportunity to host the broadcast on NBC.
JW: Would you be willing to do more hosting if needed?
Vieira: Again, I think that we all hope that Mr. C is back in this chair for Saturday night but if they need me then I would be honored to do it.
NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell, who made the call to put Vieira in the air chair tonight stopped short of saying that Costas would not return to the anchor chair in Sochi. He said that the situation remained day to day.