Hoda Kotb named new co-anchor of NBC’s 'Today,' joins Savannah Guthrie

Hoda Kotb was named co-anchor of "Today" on Tuesday morning and officially headlined the broadcast with Savannah Guthrie.

Kotb, 53, joined Guthrie behind the anchor desk of NBC's morning news show after temporarily co-anchoring "Today" since Matt Lauer was fired in November. Lauer's dismissal came after a female colleague made a complaint accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior.

In announcing Kotb's appointment on the show, Guthrie, 46, told viewers: "This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made."

23 PHOTOS
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford together
See Gallery
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford together
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, October 12, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Billie Jean King on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Dylan Dreyer, Jenna Bush Hager, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Al Roker on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, September 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Kathie Lee Gifford, Lionel Richie and Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, Aug.10, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford (R) are seen on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by VMAL/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: (L-R) TV personalities Sheinelle Jones, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 'DUNKIRK' New York premiere at AMC Lincoln Square IMAX on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, June 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: (L-R) Hoda Kotb,Jason Derulo, Luke Bryan and Kathie Lee Gifford backstage during the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, June 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 Matrix Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on April 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb And Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today Show. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear to celebrate the BELLA New York Holiday Issue Cover Party and Holiday Shopping Event on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL UPFRONT -- '2016 NBCUniversal Upfront in New York City on Monday, May 16, 2016' -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, 'The Today Show' on NBC -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: (L) Kathie Lee Gifford dressed as her former co-host Regis Philbin, and Hoda Kotb, dressed as Kathie Lee Gifford from the morning talk show, 'Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,' during NBC's 'Today' Halloween at Rockefeller Plaza on October 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: TV personalities Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Jennifer Lopez, and Hoda Kotb appear on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"I am pinching myself," Kotb said. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show."

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said in an email that Kotb has "seamlessly stepped" into the position, and with Guthrie, "quickly hit the ground running."

"They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today," Lack added.

Kotb is a familiar face with "Today" viewers, co-hosting the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008. Lack said she would continue in that role.

Related: Firings come at a precarious time for the big TV morning shows

"Hoda is, in a word, remarkable," Lack said. "She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances. It's a tribute to her wide range and her innate curiosity."

Kotb was a news anchor in New Orleans before joining NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for "Dateline." In 2010, she released the book, "Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee," and announced last year that she had adopted a baby girl. She also hosts "The Hoda Show on SiriusXM."

Fellow "Today" co-hosts contributors tweeted their congratulations Tuesday:

Kotb's pairing with Guthrie is also a rarity for morning news, with two female co-anchors leading a national broadcast. The first time was when Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts co-anchored ABC's "Good Morning America" from 2006 to 2009.

In a joint interview with "People" published online Tuesday, Kotb and Guthrie said they were enthusiastic about their partnership.

"When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn't matter. If it works, it works," Kotb told the magazine. "We're sort of like sisters, and everybody wants a sister."

Guthrie and Kotb were the ones to share the news of Lauer's firing live on the broadcast. Both women say they are friends with Lauer, who was on the show for two decades.

"That morning was so hard, but Hoda and I were in it together," Guthrie said. "We are family, and families do go through hard times, and when that happens in good families, you just get closer."

After Lauer's firing, he released a statement saying he was "truly sorry." His statement was a partial denial, but he also admitted that "there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed."

He has since kept out of the public eye. Guthrie said Lauer is "working on his family, we know that for sure."

Kotb, meanwhile, said she didn't fill in for him with the intention of being selected as the permanent co-anchor of one of the nation's longest-running TV programs.

"We were just trying to make it through those days together," Kotb told "People." "I didn't think about whether it would be me," she added.

Read Full Story