Matt's still on! Bob Costas' eyes improving, but 'not quite ready' for prime time

Matt Lauer, Bob Costas
Matt Lauer, Bob CostasToday

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By Meena Hart Duerson

Wondering about Bob Costas' whereabouts? The veteran sportscaster is on the mend — but he won't be back in the anchor chair for Olympics coverage just yet.

"Bob’s eye issue has improved but he’s not quite ready to do the show," NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell told from Sochi on Thursday. "If your eyes are sensitive to bright lights, a TV studio is not the place to be."

After struggling with visibly red and infected eyes during several broadcasts leading up to the Games, Costas announced on TODAY Tuesday that he would be handing over hosting duties to Matt Lauer for the night. On Wednesday, he called in again with the update that Lauer would continue to sub in for him until his eyes recovered.

"Matt has been capably juggling both TODAY and Olympic duties and the situation remains day to day," Bell said of Lauer's double-duty shifts in Sochi. "We’re hopeful to get Bob back ASAP but we are fortunate to have such a deep bench."



In the meantime, Lauer has proved himself a quick study.

"The bright side of having Matt here was that he’s such a fast learner that it didn’t take him long at all to pick up some of the nuances of how we are doing the Olympic prime time show compared to what he does every morning on TODAY," said Bell, the former executive producer of TODAY.

"Because we worked together for so long in the trenches at TODAY, he cannot surprise me!"