NBC's Today Show Live at Syracuse University

September 18, 2012 by

SYRACUSE -- Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, co-hosts of the fourth hour of the Today show, could be spending a day at Syracuse University next month.  The school's status as a finalist for "Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College" was announced on yesterday's broadcast, with a series of live shots from the SU campus.

Crew from the Today Show sets up for live hits from the SU campus on September 17, 2012. Click for larger version.

According to The Daily Orange, the university's student newspaper, producers with NBC wanted the selection to be a surprise, so "the event was kept low-key on campus."

There was no official announcement, but somehow, about 30 people already knew by 9am.  The newspaper says reporter Sarah Haines and producer Susan Bower were seen handing out fliers to students at about that time, spreading the word in the final hour before Kathie Lee and Hoda's hour would begin.

By that time, dozens of students had gathered, and SU media manager Keith Kobland says the crew performed "a series of live pops" during the 10am hour.

The other finalists include Ohio State, the University of Tennessee, the University of South Florida, Creighton University and Brandeis University.  Gifford and Kotb will anchor their show live from the campus which receives the most votes through a ballot on the Today show website.  The live-on-location broadcast will take place in early October.

Kotb's reaction to yesterday's showing on the hill: reports SU and Tenneesee were tied for the lead, each with 25% of the votes as of 11am yesterday.  As of Tuesday morning, the NBC poll site has been altered so the results are no longer visible.

Added 9:50pm -- According to the official rules for the competition, voters may cast one vote per day through September 23.  The rules don't say exactly when the winner will be announced on-air, but the winning school will be available on "after September 29" and the live broadcast from the winning school's campus will take place "during the first week of October."

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