Live on "Today"

Sara Haines ’00 makes her mark on America’s number one morning show

by Christina Barber-Just

Sara HainesSara Haines ’00 may be the only person in television who started at the top. An NBC News contributing correspondent, Haines appears daily (live and in taped segments) on the fourth hour of Today, the top-rated morning show—her first paying on-camera job.

After graduating in 2002 from NBC’s highly competitive page program, Haines earned her stripes as a production coordinator at Today. The more mundane side of television production, like booking cars and supervising catering, filled much of her time, but she also got a good long look at the behind-the-scenes mechanics of the show. Her newly acquired knowledge of the production-management side, combined with what she calls “a huge push for online content” at NBC News, led her to co-create and host a video blog, or vlog, called Backstage Pass. NBC News execs were impressed. Haines was named Today’s online correspondent in 2008 and was promoted to her current position last May.

Haines says her rapid evolution from off- to on-air talent at one of television’s true institutions has been “pinch-me unrealistic.” And while she has goals for the future, such as conducting more live interviews, she couldn’t be happier with the present. “I really have my dream job right now,” she says. “I got the piece of the pie that I was aiming for.”

Spring ’10 SAQ