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For NBC's Today, 2017 was as big a year as any in the morning news show's recent past, with the biggest headlines coming as longtime anchor Matt Lauer was fired in the aftermath of sexual misconduct allegations. In the month or so since that happened, Today hadn't officially found a substitution for Lauer's seat, but now that 2018 is in full gear, NBC News has announced Today vet Hoda Kotb has officially taken over as the show's official co-anchor alongside Savannah Guthrie.
Before the January 2 edition of Today got underway, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack made the announcement that Hoda Kotb would be officially upping her Today presence with a permanent position at the anchor desk she'd been sitting behind in recent weeks as a temporary replacement for the ousted Matt Lauer. After the episode began, with Kotb's name appearing in Today's opening announcement for the first time, Savannah Guthrie made the announcement public, saying it had to be "the most popular decision NBC News have ever made." Indeed, Kotb has mass appeal with all manner of audience members.
According to People, NBC News first presented the offer to Hoda Kotb before the holidays started, and it's obvious that she didn't take too long to offer a positive response. This makes Kotb and Savannah Guthrie the first pair of lead women anchors on Today, though they're not morning news TV's first head female duo. And you won't find anyone happier about this announcement than the two of them.
Interestingly, Hoda Kotb's new position as co-anchor will not immediately take her away from the 10:00 a.m. hour, where she sits alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. For the time being, she'll take on both timespans, though that could change in the near future if Today brings in a new replacement at some point.
Hoda Kotb, who took some time off in 2017 to welcome her adopted daughter Hayley Lee, first joined NBC News back in 1998 as a Dateline correspondent, having built a career as one of New Orleans' most recognizable anchors and reporters. Still part of the Dateline team, Kotb joined Today back in 2007 as the co-host of the show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford. She has been one of the show's most valued employees, getting promoted to third co-anchor in March of 2017, making her an obvious choice when NBC News needed an immediate fill-in after Matt Lauer got fired. And considering Today's ratings have been rising in the month after Lauer's exit, it probably wasn't hard to come to the decision that Kotb was an easy choice for the long haul. Had Megyn Kelly's Today introduction not been as poorly received as it has been, perhaps she might have been on the shortlist, but no.
Watch Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie every weekday morning on NBC when Today airs at 7:00 a.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows will be showing up in the primetime hours, bookmark our midseason premiere schedule.