Sochi Olympics: Meredith Vieira steps in for ailing Bob Costas

Meredith Vieira, left, will fill in for Bob Costas as anchor of NBC's Olympic coverage Friday night. Matt Lauer, pictured right, also subbed in for Costas as a commentator.
(Paul Drinkwater / Associated Press)

With Bob Costas still recovering from an eye infection, former “Today” cohost Meredith Vieira will anchor NBC’s prime-time and late-night coverage Friday of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s an honor to fill in for him,” Vieira said Friday morning on “Today.” “You think about the Olympics, and you think the athletes and then Bob Costas.”

Costas, who had anchored NBC’s coverage of the Winter and Summer Games without interruption since 1988, was sidelined earlier this week by the infection, which left his eyes red and sensitive to bright studio lights and proved distracting for many viewers.


PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

“Bob’s eye issue has improved, but he’s not quite ready to do the show,” NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said Friday.

Current “Today” cohost Matt Lauer stepped in for Costas on Wednesday and Thursday, but said Friday he needed a break from the grueling double schedule. (“Today” is also broadcasting daily from Sochi.)

By stepping in for Costas, Vieira will also be making television history, becoming the first woman to anchor NBC’s Olympic coverage solo.



Critic’s Notebook: Games don’t live down to negative hype

Olympics host Bob Costas faces ‘slow’ recovery from eye infection

Matt Lauer to replace Bob Costas as Olympics anchor for a second night

Twitter: @MeredithBlake