Hoda Kotb (pronounced COT-bee) will permanently replace disgraced NBC Today show anchor Matt Lauer, the network announced on Tuesday. For the first time in 'Today's' history, NBC's most profitable franchise will be placed in the hands of two women -- Kotb and existing anchor Savannah Guthrie.
“We are kicking off the year right, because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of ‘Today,’” Ms. Guthrie said, sitting next to Ms. Kotb. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made, and I am so thrilled.”
Ms. Kotb, 53, responded: “I am pinching myself.”
Guthrie has been a 'Today' anchor since 2012 and Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for 'Dateline'. In 2008 Kotb became the co-host of the fourth hour of 'Today' and rushed into the emergency substitute host spot on the morning that Laurer was fired.
An Egyptian-American, Kotb adopted in early 2017 a little girl Haley Joy and lives since fall 2016 with her longtime partner, financier Joel Shiffman. The event has completely changed her life, says Hoda, who has long wanted to be a mother but -- as a breast cancer survivor -- couldn't conceive children.