TODAY Host Katie Couric Says She’s ‘Heartbroken’ Over Death of Willard Scott in Touching Tribute

by Joe Rutland

Longtime “TODAY” anchor Katie Couric took to Instagram and expressed her sorrow after finding out that Willard Scott had died.

Scott, who was a part of “TODAY” as its weatherman, died on Saturday at 87 years old. Couric worked as an anchor on the NBC morning program from 1991-2006.

She and Scott worked together during that time. Couric fondly recalled her friend with this social media post on Saturday afternoon.

“I am heartbroken that the much loved Willard Scott has passed away,” Couric wrote about her “TODAY” friend. “Willard played such an outsized role in my life…whether it was as the Ronald McDonald of my childhood, ‘Joy Boy’ of radio in Washington DC, and of course, as a ubiquitous presence on the @todayshow (1980-2015).

“Willard was as warm and loving and generous off camera as he was on,” she continued. “I last saw him at the funeral of Jim Vance, the longtime lead anchor of WRC-TV in Washington DC. Willard, you may not have made it to the front of the Smucker’s jar, but you made mornings brighter for millions of Americans. Thinking of all my friends at Today who felt like Willard was family. With love and appreciation for a life well lived. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”.

Couric Worked Alongside Willard Scott During Her Time on ‘TODAY’

Couric also worked for news divisions at CBS and ABC, too. Additionally, she also spent three years working for “Yahoo!” and ABC News between 2014-17.

But “TODAY” was the first place for morning network television viewers to see Couric at work. Willard Scott obviously had a soft spot in her heart. It was not unusual to see viewers gather around him when he would visit towns for weather forecasts.

Willard Scott was replaced by Al Roker as the morning show’s main weather forecaster. But Scott would hang around and be Roker’s replacement until finally retiring in 2015.

Scott never minded not taking himself seriously. He would sometimes dress up in costumes while giving the weather news. Willard Scott also started a trend in reading birthday wishes for men and women who just turned 100 years old.

The affable weatherman would be sure and give viewers an accurate as he could do it forecast for the United States. The fun and games were part of his schtick and Willard Scott was OK with it. But he did take his role seriously and remained committed to being that NBC show’s weatherman.

Roker replaced Scott and has been able to go cover major weather events himself. Roker has his own style, much like Scott did. “TODAY” morning show viewers are able to watch Roker at work. But their parents had Willard.