NEW YORK (NBC News) — Hoda Kotb has been named the co-anchor of “TODAY,” making her official debut Tuesday just after an announcement by NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.
Kotb, 53, will join Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk during the first two hours of the morning news program. She also will continue to co-host TODAY’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.
“It’s 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today,” Guthrie announced after the program’s opening announcement featuring Kotb’s name for the first time. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made and I’m so thrilled.”
After the pair replayed the opening program, Kotb noted her name was “pronounced right and everything.”
“I’m pinching myself,” she said.
“You are a partner and a friend and a sister and I am so happy to be doing this,” Guthrie added.
Kotb, who joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for “Dateline,” has been a frequent substitute in the TODAY anchor chair over the years. She became a fixed presence in the spot after Matt Lauer was fired as TODAY anchor on Nov. 28 following allegations of sexual misconduct by a female colleague. When Guthrie announced the following morning that Lauer had been dismissed, Kotb was by her side.