Who is Craig Melvin, the newest anchor on NBC's 'Today'?

Washington Post

Craig Melvin has been named a co-anchor of NBC's "Today," a promotion that was announced on-air Tuesday morning.

Melvin, who has been a frequent presence on the long-running morning show, recently stepped down as "Today's" Saturday anchor, prompting speculation that he would be brought on to co-host alongside Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

"Before we start this whole new thing, I wanted to just thank my parents, who sacrificed so much for me to go to school and get here," Melvin said after Guthrie shared the news with "Today" viewers.

He also tweeted his excitement, writing, "Dreams come true."

Here's what you need to know about "Today's" newest co-anchor.

He's a native of Columbia, South Carolina

On Tuesday morning, Melvin's promotion was the lead item on the website for South Carolina-based newspaper the State. His NBC connections go way back - while a junior at Columbia High School, he was a teen reporter for the local affiliate, WIS News 10, where he won an Associated Press award for a story about his favorite teacher.

WIS is also where he discovered his love of journalism. "I would not be where I am right now had it not been for that," he told Columbia Metropolitan magazine last year.

Melvin majored in government at Wofford College in Spartansburg. As a junior, he interned in Washington, D.C., but the experience made him realize he "did not want to have anything to do with politics" when he graduated.

He returned to WIS after graduating from college, and in 2006 won an Emmy for his work as an anchor there.

He's an MSNBC anchor.

Despite his aversion to entering politics, he hasn't hesitated to cover the political arena. Melvin anchors "MSNBC Live" at 1 p.m. ET on weekdays.

He made headlines in June for a tense interview with Bill Clinton, during which Melvin asked the former president if he had apologized to Monica Lewinsky, and whether he viewed the sex scandal that led to his 1998 impeachment differently in the #Me Too era.

Last year, as President Donald Trump toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Melvin pointedly asked Trump about his thoughts on a spate of anti-Semitic attacks across the country.

"Anti-Semitism is horrible and it's going to stop," Trump replied.

"So you're denouncing (anti-Semitism) now, once and for all?" Melvin asked.

"Oh, of course," Trump said. "And I do it wherever I get a chance, I do it."

He's a former NBC4 anchor.

Melvin spent three years at D.C.'s WRC-TV, where he anchored several weekend broadcasts. He left the station in 2011 to join MSNBC, but he hasn't forgotten his time there. In a tweet pinned to his Twitter account, Melvin honors his late colleague, Jim Vance, the veteran news anchor who spent 45 years at WRC before his death in July 2017.

He's married to Lindsay Czarniak.

NBC4 is also where Melvin met his wife, a sports journalist who left ESPN last fall after six years. They met, on-air, in 2008 when Melvin introduced one of Czarniak's sports segments.

"Craig's the kind of guy that, when you're talking to him, he has this gift of making you feel like you're the only person in the world that matters," Czarniak told The Washington Post ahead of their 2011 wedding.

After his "Today" promotion was announced, Melvin gave a shout out to Czarniak and their two children.

"They give me life," he said.

First published in the Washington Post

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