SC’s Craig Melvin gets big promotion at NBC’s ‘Today Show’

Columbia’s own Craig Melvin is getting a big promotion.

The Columbia High School graduate was named a weekday anchor Tuesday on NBC’s “Today Show,” ascending to a starring role on one of America’s most-watched morning shows.

“The dream has come true,” Melvin told The State on Tuesday. “The ‘Today Show’ has been around for 65 years now. It’s one of the few institutions left in broadcast television. So to be a part of that Monday through Friday, it’s a pinch-myself moment. It really is.”

The former WIS TV reporter and anchor had been anchoring MSNBC Live on weekdays while making frequent appearances as a national correspondent on the “Today Show.”

Late last month, the 39-year-old Melvin stepped down from a third role as co-anchor of the Saturday edition of the “Today Show” — a gig he had held for more than three years.

The new job will put him in front of the “Today Show’s” more than 4 million viewers every weekday. Melvin said he has had his sights set on the “Today Show” since working at WIS during the 2000s.

He credits his former WIS co-anchor, Judi Gatson, for being a model of authenticity for him, on the air and off. “She made me better on the air.”

Melvin remains in touch with South Carolina. His family lives in Columbia. And he has returned to the Palmetto State in recent years to cover the 2015 Columbia flood, the Charleston church shooting and the removal of the Confederate flag from the S.C. State House grounds.

Melvin was a top candidate for a “Today Show” anchor seat late last year, when NBC fired longtime anchor Matt Lauer amid a sexual-harassment scandal. The network, ultimately, promoted Hoda Kotb to the job.

Melvin will work alongside Kotb and Savannah Guthrie at the “Today Show.” He also will continue to host MSNBC Live.

“To be able to host a daily newscast right now on cable news in this current environment, you can’t walk away from that,” he said.

Reach Wilks at 803-771-8362. Follow him on Twitter @AveryGWilks.