NEW YORK — With little fanfare, NBC appointed Savannah Guthrie on Friday as Matt Lauer’s co-host for the “Today” show, one day after ousted Ann Curry’s tearful exit.

Guthrie, a lawyer and former White House correspondent for NBC News, has been host of the morning show’s third hour for the past year (the show currently stretches for four hours).

After vacations this week, the new team officially debuts July 9.

It’s an understated introduction for someone taking one of the most important jobs in television news.

“Today” is a cash cow and the jewel in NBC’s crown, and has seen its longtime position of dominance threatened in recent months by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Its troubles cost Curry her job.

Guthrie, who wasn’t available for interviews, teamed with Lauer on Friday and told viewers nothing about her promotion. It was announced by a press release a few hours later.

NBC wanted her in place before the start of the Summer Olympics in London next month.

“Today” will travel to the Olympics and the broadcasts are seen as a good opportunity for the show to regain some momentum after its challenge from ABC.

Guthrie, 40, will keep her role as NBC’s chief legal analyst.

She’s been at NBC since 2007, joining from Court TV. She covered Sarah Palin’s campaign in 2008 and was NBC’s White House correspondent from 2008 to 2011.

A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Guthrie has worked in television for most of her career, except for two years of practicing law in Washington. She worked in local television news in Tucson, Ariz., and Columbia, Mo., in the 1990s.

On the job Friday, Guthrie displayed the versatility necessary for someone in morning TV. She helped analyze the Supreme Court’s health care decision during the first hour, then spread red jam on toast an hour later for a segment on Fourth of July party decorations.

NBC News President Steve Capus praised Guthrie’s “undeniable range” in announcing the appointment.

“She has a one-of-a-kind combination of sharp wit and approachability, and our viewers value her journalistic skills and legal background just as much as her humor and charm,” said Jim Bell, “Today” show executive producer.

The “Today” show team appeared noticeably more comfortable Friday than during Curry’s last week of broadcasts.

Guthrie joked with Lauer following a story about David Beckham being left off the British soccer team because at 37, he’s considered too old.

“He’s still young enough to be in those underwear ads, though,” she said. “There’s a silver lining.”

“Thanks for that,” Lauer replied.

Model and perfume company settle suit

NEW YORK — Naomi Campbell and a perfume company have settled a sour dispute that started over a fragrance line and became part of the backdrop of former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s war crimes trial.

The court fight involved Campbell’s longtime former agent, Carole White, who joined with a Miami Beach, Fla.-based cosmetics company to form Moodform Mission in the 1990s.

Her court fight with the model was mentioned at Taylor’s 2010 war crimes trial, at which White contradicted the model’s testimony about some alleged blood diamonds – gems used to finance wars – she received from Taylor.

Campbell said she didn’t know the source of the stones and gave them to a friend to donate to charity.

Singer guilty of failing to pay taxes

NEWARK, N.J. — Eight-time Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill, 37, pleaded guilty Friday to not paying federal taxes on more than $1.5 million earned over three years.

Appearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, Hill admitted failing to file tax returns from 2005 to 2007. She faces a maximum one-year sentence on each of the three counts.

During the hearing, her attorney indicated Hill planned to pay the taxes she owes. U.S. Magistrate Michael Shipp initially scheduled sentencing for early October but agreed to delay it until late November to give Hill time to make repayment.

After the charges were brought, Hill posted a statement on her Tumblr page that  said she hasn’t paid taxes since she withdrew from society to guarantee the safety and well-being of herself and her family.