Natalie Morales established a national footing as a broadcast journalist on MSNBC in the early 2000s, soon to be earmarked for bigger and broader audiences as an NBC News correspondent and regular denizen of the network's morning flagship "Today" (1952- ). Morales began her broadcast career in 1998 with Cablevision's News 12 The Bronx and NBC's station WITV in Connecticut, before landing with NBC News and its cable channel MSNBC. She was given increasingly visible roles, including a 2006 promotion to "Today" correspondent in 2006 and co-host of the show's third hour in 2008. She led reporting on NBC's award-nominated coverage of the Chilean mine crisis of 2010 and expanded her presence into NBC's entertainment division with duties on the reality show "The Marriage Ref" (2010-11) and its broadcasts of the Miss USA/Miss Universe pageants. She was elevated to anchor of the "Today" news desk in 2011 and took on additional assignments as co-host of the new primetime news magazine "Rock Center with Brian Williams" (2011), with some talk in 2012 of her being groomed for a top seat among the network's hype-inclined morning personalities. Singled out by any number of Hispanic-American cultural observers as a Latina to watch for both her beauty and on-air bona fides, Morales seemed designated for an even bigger share of the limelight as newswoman-turned-crossover star.