NBC News on Tuesday named Hoda Kotb as the new co-anchor of “Today” alongside longtime headliner Savannah Guthrie.
The network formally placed Kotb behind the anchor desk of its morning news broadcast following former co-anchor Matt Lauer’s firing last year amid sexual misconduct allegations.
“This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made,” Guthrie quipped Tuesday while announcing Kotb’s new role.
“I am pinching myself,” Kotb said of the change. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show.”
Kotb has long been a staple of “Today” broadcasts, having co-hosted the show’s fourth hour alongside Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008.
NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Tuesday said Kotb would also continue in that role before praising her move to co-anchoring the program.
“Hoda is, in a word, remarkable,” he said in an email. “She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances.”
“They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today,’” Lack added of Kotb’s pairing with Guthrie.
Kotb has temporarily co-anchored “Today” with Guthrie since Lauer’s abrupt firing from the show last November.
Lauer was ousted after several women accused him of past inappropriate behavior, including one woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her in 2001.
NBC News’ firing of Lauer sent shockwaves throughout the media as the broadcaster had appeared on “Today” since 1997.
Lauer was one of several powerful men who fell from grace last year amid accusations of past sexual misconduct.
Scores of women began sharing their experiences with sexual misconduct in 2017 after influential film producer Harvey Weinstein was disgraced by such claims.
A global reckoning over the issue has since impacted major male figures in entertainment, politics, the media and sports.