When [Willard] came to NBC, his contract, like the others on the show, forbid product pitches
. The hosts of the show, Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley, as well as John Palmer, who gives the news, still aren't allowed to do ads. But, as Steve Friedman, the executive producer of Today,
put it, "Nobody's going to confuse Willard for a journalist. Our viewers aren't that dumb. He's a guy who does the weather and entertains."