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Natalie Morales on ‘The Morning War:’ ‘Just One of Those Blips’

NBC’s Natalie Morales was talking about the issue of jobs at an Education Nation event at the gleaming New World Center in Miami Beach earlier this week.

It’s fitting as Morales has many of them at NBC.

TVNewser caught up with the “Today” show news anchor in the make-up room just before her panel discussion on preparing graduates for the 21st century workforce.

“As a company we see this as part of a wider initiative,” says Morales of NBC’s Education Nation. “It’s a corporate responsibility to try to give back.”

In recent years, Morales has moved beyond her news persona, taking on roles across the Peacock, whether co-hosting the Miss Universe pageant, or Macy’s July 4th Spectacular, or playing the part of fact-checker on “The Marriage Ref.”

But Morales never strays far from home.

“I have several Rock Center pieces in the works and (the Dateline series) My Kid Would Never Do That, which my kid ended up doing that,” Morales laughed.

The series puts children in a variety of decision-making situations while their parents watch the events unfold via hidden camera.

Morales says the challenge going forward, “is finding new ways to do it. I also don’t want to become the person that everybody recognizes. You have to keep the anonymity otherwise kids will see me and they’re not going to fall for it.”

As for her main job at “Today,” Morales admits, “It’s turbulent waters these days with where the ratings are.”

“Today” and “GMA” have been in a ping-pong match recently for the weekly ratings lead. (“Today”won last week’s set.) Morales sees ABC’s wins, in what she calls “the morning war with GMA,” as an aberration.

“I think this is just one of those blips and we’re going to come back out shining and be all the better for it because the competition makes us better.”

The Miami stop of Education Nation was the culmination of a road show which took the initiative to Denver, San Francisco and Atlanta. Morales’s panel discussion, co-moderated by Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, will air on NBC station WTVJ this Saturday at 1pm. You can watch the first part, below.

An Education Nation panel discussion led by NBC's Natalie Morales and Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart is projected onto the exterior wall of Miami Beach's New World Center

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