"Today" correspondent Sara Haines is visiting the University of Tennessee Wednesday looking for spirit.
Not "spirits," as apropos for the wine-guzzling fourth hour of "Today" (10 a.m. weekdays, WBIR, Channel 10) where she appears with hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
Even before Haines set foot on campus, she had quite the adventure getting here from her visit to Ohio State University Tuesday morning. Her flight was delayed and her connecting one was, too, according to her producer.
Her original arrival around 3:30 p.m. eventually was pushed to 7 p.m., but it might have pushed even later after press deadline.
To top it off, this was the way Haines was spending her birthday Tuesday — hanging around airports and trying to get a flight to Knoxville.
Haines will be at UT Wednesday because the school is one of the six finalists in the "Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College" challenge.
If UT gets the most online votes, the show will be back on campus in early October — and bring Gifford and Kotb along — to do the entire fourth hour from Knoxville. (And, perhaps, some celebrity guest or two if that visit happens.)
Haines will be doing live segments from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. from the south side of Ayres Hall Wednesday. The public is allowed to be on camera and cheer on the school. Crowds will start gathering at the site of the production around 9 a.m., according to the university.
For more about the challenge and to vote for UT, go to http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/49037139/ns/today-kathie_lee_and_hoda/#.UFc6hxip3o0.
"Today" picked the right spot to do a remote. The news and lifestyles program dominates in the Knoxville market, usually winning its time slot.
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.