Nearly two months after the firing of the veteran host, Matt Lauer, which came after a detailed complaint of sexual misconduct, a new host has officially filled his vacancy on NBC’s “Today.”
On Tuesday morning, Hoda Kotb, who had been temporarily filling in after Lauer’s sudden dismissal, was named co-anchor of the network’s morning news show, alongside Savannah Guthrie.
“This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made,” Guthrie told viewers Tuesday morning, just as Kotb expressed her excitement for her new gig.
“I am pinching myself,” she said. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the opening of that show.”
The two even discussed their new partnership with PEOPLE in an interview published on the same day. They dished on their feelings after having to announce the news of their dear friend’s firing, adding that that moment made them closer than ever.
“When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn’t matter. If it works, it works,” Kotb said in the interview. “We’re sort of like sisters, and everybody wants a sister. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In the meantime, the network’s Chairman Andrew Lack issued a statement about Kotb’s new role and commended the new co-anchor for her ability to step in “seamlessly,” with co-anchor Guthrie.
“They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today,” Lack said. “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.”