Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

NBC names Hoda Kotb as Lauer replacement on 'Today'

NBC names Hoda Kotb as Lauer replacement on 'Today'

Hoda Kotb, who has filled in on NBC's Today show since Matt Lauer was sacked in November, has now officially replaced him.

"Sounds like you want a steak, not an anchor", Roker commented, quoting the tweet in question. And while her co-anchor chemistry with Guthrie remains to be seen, the charismatic Kotb arrives without a whiff of scandal and boosts the Today anchor desk to a double dose of femininity.

On Tuesday, Guthrie, 46, told viewers, "This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled".

The pairing of two women is a departure from the typical man-and-woman morning show format.

"There's no one I would rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you", Kotb, 53, said, grabbing Guthrie's hand with a smile. Still part of the Dateline team, Kotb joined Today back in 2007 as the co-host of the show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Kotb has worked as a broadcast journalist since 1986, when she started her career as a news assistant in Egypt for CBS News, according to Variety.

The promotion means that Kotb and Savannah Guthrie will co-host the famed morning show.

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For NBC's Today, 2017 was as big a year as any in the morning news show's recent past, with the biggest headlines coming as longtime anchor Matt Lauer was sacked in the aftermath of sexual misconduct allegations.

"I'm pinching myself", Kotb responded.

They are the first all-woman pair to anchor the NBC news program.

In a statement to staff, NBC News chair Andy Lack said, "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". "I think that we should send some medics to Alexandria, Va., where my mom has likely fainted". And considering Today's ratings have been rising in the month after Lauer's exit, it probably wasn't hard to come to the decision that Kotb was an easy choice for the long haul.

"This is a very tough morning for both of us", Kotb said to Guthrie on the morning it was revealed Lauer had been fired.

Ben Bogardus, a journalism professor at Connecticut's Quinnipiac College, said Kotb's selection was a good one "because it reinforces the sense of a family coming together after a shared trauma".

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