Just watched yesterday's TODAY, and I note that, a) due to the Breaking News they covered the first few top stories themselves, rather than having them done by the Headlines desk, b) mid link, handing back to the studio, after Ann had thrown to the OB, Matt picked it up and said 'I'll take it from here', with Ann picking up the close to the OB Matthew then linked to, and, despite the fact they were sitting together, Ann said 'here's Matt', and they cut the half metre between the pair to him.
During the first hour (7am ET), the main stories are usually covered by the main hosts, with the news anchor covering the other important stories that don't warrant as much attention (usually few reports and no interviews). It's only on days with a very light news schedule that they skip straight to the news desk. During the 8am and 9am hours, the news is usually only covered from the news desk. I don't think they have any news during the 10am Kathie-Lee & Hoda hour.
Also, during the first hour, the main hosts keep throwing to each other, sometimes with a time check (as in, "it's 7:07, now here's Matt"). It's just the way they do it.