Ending the post-Matt Lauer period of uncertainty, NBC has named Hoda Kotb co-anchor of Today, pairing with Savannah Guthrie. Kotb will continue her long-running teaming with Kathie Lee Gifford in the 10AM hour of the morning show.
The move had been expected in industry circles. Kotb, a 20-year NBC News veteran, made a particularly strong impression on viewers on the morning of Nov. 28, when she sat next to Guthrie and they delivered the news of Lauer’s firing due to multiple sexual assault and harassment complaints.
During the pair’s opening segment this morning (see video below), Kotb cracked that her name was “pronounced right and everything. … I’m pinching myself.” Guthrie replied, “You are a partner and a friend and a sister and I am so happy to be doing this.”
In an email to staffers, NBC News Group chairman Andy Lack wrote, “Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running. They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today.”
Lauer’s exit was one of the pivotal moments in the entertainment business reckoning with sexual misconduct in recent months. Ratings for Today, the longtime former morning-news champ that has been trailing ABC’s Good Morning America in recent years, have since rebounded strongly.
Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for Dateline. She has been co-hosting the fourth hour of Today with Gifford since 2008. She also hosts The Hoda Show on SiriusXM. Kotb started her broadcast career in local news, anchoring and reporting for stations in New Orleans and Fort Myers.