Pop Culture

Congratulations, Natalie Morales! TODAY anchor to head west for new role

Natalie Morales will soon say bye-bye to the Big Apple! She's moving across the country to take on a whole new role.

While her presence will be certainly be missed in Studio 1A when she leaves for Los Angeles this summer, she'll still be right here on TODAY — as the new West Coast anchor.

MORE: The one move that helps Natalie Morales turn a bad morning into a great one

On Thursday morning, she and her fellow anchors had plenty to say about the news.

NBC
Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' "Today" show.

"[My family and I] have long talked about perhaps moving to the West Coast where the sun is always shining," Natalie said. "It's going to be a good change of pace, a good lifestyle."

Of course California life won't be too laid-back for Natalie. She has big plans beyond TODAY out west.

In addition to her new duties here — and her ongoing work on Dateline — she'll also be the new host on "Access Hollywood" and "Access Hollywood Live."

"You get to move where the weather is great, you just won't have time to enjoy it," Matt Lauer said with a laugh.

Savannah Guthrie wasn't in the studio with the rest of the gang Thursday, but she added to Natalie's well wishes via Twitter.

MORE: Natalie Morales welcomes you inside her dressing room

As for Carson Daly, who lives on both coasts thanks to his work on TODAY and "The Voice," he's knows Natalie will do just fine in L.A.

"Do you like kale?" he asked.

"I love kale," she told him.

"Oh, you're going to love the West Coast!" Carson assured her.

No doubt about it.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Image: Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    Natalie Morales has been the news anchor of TODAY as well as co-host of the third hour since March 2006. See some highlights of her work (and play!) on the iconic morning show.

  • The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    'Boston Strong'

    Natalie Morales has been the news anchor of TODAY as well as co-host of the third hour since March 2006. See some highlights of her work (and play!) on the iconic morning show.

    Natalie shows off her medal in Studio 1A on April 22, 2014, the morning after she completed the 118th Boston Marathon. She ran wearing a pink "Corcoran Strong" shirt in support of Celeste Corcoran, who had both legs amputated as a result of the bombings during the previous year’s Boston Marathon.

    TODAY / TODAY
  • Image: Today - Season 63

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Grinning with gold

    Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie hold up Olympic medals in Sochi, Russia during the Winter Olympics on Feb. 26, 2014.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: Today - Season 63

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

    Savannah and Natalie bundle up on a cold winter morning on the TODAY plaza on Feb. 3, 2014.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: Today - Season 62

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Laverne and Shirley

    Natalie and Savannah pedal into the plaza dressed up as Laverne and Shirley for the 2013 TODAY Halloween show.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: Today - Season 62

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Head over heels

    Natalie is never one to shy away from a challenge, like when she inverted herself on TODAY on Oct. 24, 2013.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: "Swim for Relief" Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Recovery - Day 2

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Swimming for Sandy

    Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad poses with Natalie before the event "Swim for Relief" Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Recovery on Oct. 9, 2013.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Today - Season 62

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Puppy love

    Natalie Morales cuddles with a puppy on Oct. 9, 2013.

    NBC / NBC
  • The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Kisses for Elmo

    Natalie Morales gets personal with Elmo, the lovable monster from Sesame Street,on TODAY on June 7, 2012.

    TODAY / TODAY
  • Today - 2012

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Olympic competitor

    Natalie Morales and Olympic swimmer Brendan Hansen get in the swim on TODAY on May 24, 2012.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image:

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Bump, set, spike

    Natalie gets a little help from U.S. Olympic volleyball player Stafford Slick during U.S. Olympic team festivities in New York's Times Square on April 18, 2012.

    AP / AP
  • Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Super Bowl champs

    Natalie Morales joins Al Roker, Ann Curry and Savannah Guthrie at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012.

    NBC / NBC
  • Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Color me red

    From left, Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie talk with Star Jones of TODAY's Professionals on Feb. 3, 2012. The trio wore red to show support for American Heart Month.

    NBC / NBC
  • Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Ladies of TODAY

    Natalie Morales was one of the women of TODAY who gathered for the show's special 60th anniversary celebration on Jan. 13, 2012. Pictured from left are Deborah Norville, Katie Couric, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and Natalie.

    NBC / NBC
  • TODAY

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Ugly sweaters galore

    From left, Al Roker, Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie show off their Christmas sweaters on TODAY on Dec. 14, 2011.

    NBC / NBC
  • Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    A horse of a different color

    From left, Martha Stewart, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Matt Lauer visit Martha's stables for a Thanksgiving Day segment on TODAY on Nov. 22, 2011.

    NBC / NBC
  • TODAY

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Education Nation

    Natalie Morales talks with Melinda Gates (center) and Tom Brokaw about education issues on TODAY during NBC News' Education Nation initiative, Sept. 26, 2011.

    NBC / NBC
  • TODAY

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Princess and the frog

    Natalie poses with the frog hat she was awarded for winning the frog race during "TODAY's Country Fair," Aug. 31, 2011.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: TODAY

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Farewell Meredith

    From left, Al Roker, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales chat on June 8, 2011, the day TODAY bade farewell to departing anchor Vieira.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: TODAY

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Anchors away!

    From left, Al Roker, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Natalie Morales pose together on TODAY on May 10, 2011.

    NBC / NBC
  • Image: Daily Bucket

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    M-I-C-K-E-Y

    TODAY's Al Roker, Meredith Vieira, and Natalie Morales are flanked by Disney characters at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Jan. 8, 2011, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

    Disney via Getty Images / Disney via Getty Images
  • Image: 2010 NBC's "Today" Halloween Episode

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Bieber fever

    On TODAY's 2010 Halloween episode on Oct. 29 of that year, Al Roker played Superman, Natalie Morales did a Justin Bieber impression, and Tamron Hall impersonated President Barack Obama.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • MISS UNIVERSE 2010

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Here she comes...

    Rock singer Bret Michaels and Natalie Morales co-host the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas on Aug. 23, 2010.

    Miss Universe Organization / Miss Universe Organization
  • Image: NBC "Today" Show Halloween Monster Bash

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Munster Morales

    From left, Al Roker, Tikki Barber, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Hoda Kotb and Natalie Morales dress in costume to celebrate the TODAY show Halloween Monster Bash on Oct. 31, 2007.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Today

    The TODAY family: Natalie Morales

    of

    Natalie Morales

    Natalie Morales has been the news anchor of TODAY as well as co-host of the third hour since March 2006. See some highlights of her work (and play) on the iconic morning show.

    NBC / NBC

Congratulations, Natalie — from the whole TODAY family!

Follow Ree Hines on Twitter.

TOP