NBC announced that Hoda Kotb will replace Matt Lauer as Savannah Guthrie's co-anchor on Today. This marks the first time that two women will co-anchor NBC's long-running morning show.
Guthrie introduced her new counterpart on the show Tuesday morning. "This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made," Guthrie said. "I am pinching myself," Kotb replied. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia where my mom has likely fainted."
Kotb is replacing Matt Lauer, who was fired last November for sexual misconduct. Lauer was dismissed quickly after NBC "received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." Shortly after Lauer's firing, NBC received additional complaints against the former anchor alleging sexual harassment or misconduct.
Kotb was initially picked to serve as Lauer's temporary replacement before becoming an official co-anchor. She is a known quantity at NBC – she has been with the network since 1998 – and for Today viewers: She has served as the host of the show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008. She will continue to hold this position even while taking on her new co-anchor duties.
In a statement, NBC News chair Andy Lack commended Kotb's "wide range" and "innate curiosity." "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," he added. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today."