Why Craig Melvin stepped down as 'Today' show's Saturday anchor


Is Craig Melvin poised for a big "Today" show promotion?

Days after he stepped down as the Saturday anchor for "Today," insiders are speculating that he could be gearing up to eventually become a full-fledged anchor on NBC's premiere morning show alongside Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

"The reason Craig Melvin was taken off Saturdays is to elevate him on weekdays," a source told Page Six of the development, noting that NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander will soon be announced as his replacement for the Saturday post.

"Craig will eventually be [a weekday] anchor," the source added. "You don't leave an anchor job to be a reporter. He already plays a big role Monday to Friday. The network is really high on him right now: He's smart, charming, handsome and, perhaps most importantly, a family man."

Melvin is currently a reporter and fill-in anchor for the weekday edition of "Today," in addition to being an anchor on MSNBC. During his announcement on Saturday that he would be stepping down from his weekend post, he made sure to stress how many different roles he's been filling at NBC News.

"For the better part of the past year, I have been pulling triple duty here," he explained.

Though Melvin was one of the names being floated to replace Matt Lauer last December after his firing for sexual misconduct in the workplace, the spot eventually was filled by Kotb. The Kotb-Guthrie pairing initially resulted in a ratings boost for "Today," which actually beat rival "Good Morning America" at the time, but has since returned to second place.

A second source told Page Six that the whisperings that Melvin is being "groomed" for a promotion by the network are simply that: whisperings.

"Craig has been working six days a week for about a year, between the 'Today' show Monday to Friday and on the weekends," a second insider explained. "So he stepped back from Saturday. He's going to continue doing the weekday 'Today' show as well as his MSNBC show, and he's not being 'groomed' for anything else."