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Hoda Kotb, who has been filling in on NBC’s “Today” show since Matt Lauer was fired in November, is now officially replacing him.
The promotion means that Kotb and Savannah Guthrie will co-host the famed morning show.
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made,” Guthrie said while celebrating the news on Tuesday’s “Today.”
“There’s no one I’d rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you,” Kotb said.
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) January 2, 2018
— Savannah Guthrie (@SavannahGuthrie) January 2, 2018
The pairing of two women is a departure from the typical man-and-woman morning show format.
But it’s a logical move for NBC, especially in the wake of Lauer’s abrupt exit amid complaints about inappropriate sexual behavior at work.
Kotb is an NBC News veteran who joined the network in 1998. She has been co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour of “Today,” a freewheeling talk show with Kathie Lee Gifford, since 2008.
NBC said Kotb will continue co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour while adding the 7 and 8 a.m. hours to her portfolio.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 2, 2018
NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Kotb’s promotion in a Tuesday morning memo.
“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,'” Lack wrote.
— Al Roker (@alroker) January 2, 2018
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) January 2, 2018
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) January 2, 2018
What a way to start 2018! So so happy for my friend and colleague @hodakotb as she sits alongside another friend and colleague @SavannahGuthrie Two of the brightest stars to wake up to on @TODAYshow every morning! #SavannahHodaTODAY https://t.co/KxFGanvTcP
— Dylan Dreyer (@DylanDreyerNBC) January 2, 2018
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— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2018