Hoda Kotb Named 'Today' Co-Anchor, Replacing Matt Lauer

Hoda Kotb Named 'Today' Co-Anchor, Replacing Matt Lauer

Hoda Kotb Named 'Today' Co-Anchor, Replacing Matt Lauer

On Tuesday morning, just hours after NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced that Hoda Kotb would be co-anchoring Today alongside Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker took to Twitter to defend his co-worker after a fan of the show stated that she "was looking for a seasoned man". "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today". She has also co-hosted the 10 a.m. 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.

"I'm pinching myself", she added.

The news means Kotb will continue to host alongside Savannah Guthrie in the 7am to 9am slot.

Kotb, in turn, joked that "we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the opening of that show". "Let's give her a round of applause", Guthrie said, grinning.

Lack said Kotb "has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most hard news circumstances".

Following Matt Lauer's abrupt dismissal from Today in late November for sexual misconduct, NBC News faced a tough decision on finding an appropriate replacement on relatively short notice. "It's a tribute to her wide range and her innate curiosity", Lack said.

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. She joined the network in 1998, first as a correspondent on the "Dateline" newsmagazine.

Kotb was assigned to host with Guthrie on the morning that Lauer's firing was announced.

According to USA Today, "TODAY" got a ratings boost the month after Lauer was sacked. Despite the turmoil, "Today" won four straight weeks in the ratings over ABC's "Good Morning America", after it has spent much of the past few years in second place.

"I think they looked at it and said, 'Why would you change this?"

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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