Hoda Kotb has been named co-anchor of NBC’s “Today,” taking over the chair of fired co-anchor Matt Lauer.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced Monday that Kotb will team with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for the 7 a.m.-to-9 a.m. segment of the program. It marks the first time in the 65-year history of ‘Today” that two-female co-anchors have led the program during its flagship hours.
Kotb will also remain as part of the program’s 10 a.m. hour, which she has co-hosted with Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008.
Kotb stepped in for Lauer on Nov. 29, the day after he was fired from the program following allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior with a female employee. Since the change, “Today” has topped ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the Nielsen ratings among total viewers, after finishing second through most of the year. The stable ratings performance likely encouraged NBC News executives to keep the team in place.
“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,” Lack wrote in a memo sent to staff before the start of Monday’s program. “They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today.’ Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. 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, 53, joined NBC News as a correspondent in 1998, after several years at New Orleans TV station WWL.
Guthrie, 46, has been a “Today” co-anchor since 2012.