Hoda Kotb named co-host of 'Today,' replaces disgraced anchor Matt Lauer

Hoda Kotb named co-host of 'Today,' replaces disgraced anchor Matt Lauer

Hoda Kotb named co-host of 'Today,' replaces disgraced anchor Matt Lauer

Kotb's new role as the host of the 7-9 a.m. hours of the popular morning show - alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie, weather anchor Al Roker and Orange Room host Carson Daly - began Tuesday morning (Jan. 2).

In addition to co-anchoring the first two hours of Today, Kotb will also continue to co-host the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford.

"When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn't matter".

"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. She has often worked as a fill-in host during earlier hours of the "Today" show in the past, including on shows since Lauer was terminated.

Kotb, who was joined by Guthrie for her interview with ET, told the entertainment outlet she's been in touch with Lauer since his ousting.

Kotb had been filling in for Matt Lauer ever since he was sacked late November following allegations of sexual misconduct.

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"We are kicking off the year right, because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of 'Today, '" co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said during Tuesday's broadcast.

They are the first all-woman pair to anchor the NBC news program. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Va, where my mom has likely fainted".

"I am pinching myself", Kotb said.

Kotb was assigned to host with Guthrie on the morning that Lauer's firing was announced. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of 'TODAY'". She joined the network in 1998, first as a correspondent on the "Dateline" newsmagazine.

NBC fired Lauer in response to an allegation brought by a younger female colleague who said Lauer sexually harassed her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and continued afterward. Indeed, Kotb is a beloved figure, and her presence will be warmly regarded (although perhaps not quite to the degree as an Ann Curry return would have been, yet Curry's probably no longer interested).

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