Lester Holt won't be anchoring TODAY this weekend. Instead, he will be co-hosting the news at NBC’s Chicago affiliate on Friday.
But to get the gig, he had to impress his co-host.
Lester and his son, Stefan, 25, will co-host the news together at noon on WMAQ in Chicago, as a Thanksgiving trip to Chicago to have dinner with Stefan and his wife, Morgan, turned into a working vacation. Stefan said he watched his dad's audition tape, and Lester passed the rigorous screening process.
“I carefully scrutinized that tape and looked at every live shot and standup and anchor clip and I said, ‘You know what? I guess it’ll do,’’’ Stefan joked in an interview alongside Lester on TODAY Friday.
Stefan joined WMAQ as a morning anchor in 2011. Lester spent 14 years as an anchor at WBBM-TV, a CBS affiliate in Chicago. This is the first time the two have teamed up on air.
“In preparing for the week, I said, ‘Are you working Thanksgiving?’’’ Lester said. “He said yeah, and I said, ‘If somebody needs to take the day off, I’m happy to fill in.’ That led to a discussion where basically I invited myself to co-anchor the noon news on Channel 5 here in Chicago.’’
When Stefan was in high school, he often accompanied Lester to work as an anchor on Weekend TODAY. Lester has already been hard at work on securing blackmail material should his son start gunning for his job.
“The good news is I have protected my job because during dinner last night in the kitchen I captured on my iPhone a little ‘Gangnam Style’ dancing (by Stefan),’’ Lester said. “So if he would try to make a move on the old man, you know…”
After all, said Lester, Stefan has some real news chops.
“Stefan and I really enjoy each other we have a great time, but at the heart he’s really a serious newsman,’’ Lester said. “It’s always been in his blood, but I’m a little nervous because he’s actually pretty good.’’
Lester’s ‘80s mustache, which has been gone for years, also made an appearance in vintage photos.
“We discussed that before today whether the mustache should make a comeback,’’ Stefan said. “Maybe that would be a good idea.’’
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