After Matt Lauer was fired as co-host of NBC’s “Today,” due to allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace, Hoda Kotb stepped in as an interim replacement with Lauer’s usual co-host, Savannah Guthrie, and NBC was left to figure out how to replace such a familiar face on a show known and loved across America.
In the case of Hoda Kotb, our idea of “making the best” of a negative situation was taken to its furthest with its greatest potential fulfilled.
Today (queue the celebration) Hoda Kotb was officially named permanent co-host of “Today,” harkening a new dawn amid the pervading darkness of the myriad sexual misconduct allegations finally coming to the surface.
Not only is a new precedent being set for women news anchors—with “Today” now officially establishing itself as the only morning show solely anchored by a female team—but a model within “Today” itself is also being shattered; Guthrie and Kotb together make the first all-female team headlining “Today” in the show’s 65-year history.
And can we just say we are as thrilled as everyone else?
After officially introducing Kotb as her permanent co-host, Guthrie hints at the resounding support coming in from all avenues saying, “This has to be the most popular decision NBC has ever made, and I am so thrilled.”
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) January 2, 2018
Andy Lack, chairman of NBC News Group, said the following of Kotb in a statement on Monday:
“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.”
Kotb, who usually hosts the fourth hour of “Today” with Kathie Lee Gifford—which she will continue to do—clearly has seamless compatibility with Guthrie, and “quickly hit the ground running” when she stepped in after Lauer’s dismissal, Lack says. Instead of trying out other possible choices for Lauer’s replacement, as is common for television shows to do when a position opens up, it was clear immediately that offering Kotb a permanent position was the right direction for NBC to move in.
Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances.
In an online article published this morning by “People,” Kotb and Guthrie sat down together and talked about what this new shift means for them and for viewers, hinting at the greater implications it could hold for our culture’s current climate.
Both recognize that this is unprecedented for shows like “Today,” but as more follow their lead, we believe, it doesn’t have to be.
When changes must be made on the fly, as they did in NBC’s case, one can only hope to make the best of dire and discouraging situations. In the case of Hoda Kotb, our idea of “making the best” of a negative situation was taken to its furthest with its greatest potential fulfilled.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 2, 2018
The on-air chemistry that Kotb and Guthrie have set a new model for co-hosting and anchoring: it isn’t about finding someone to fit the role or the model that has always been; it’s about finding someone who will bring the position to places it’s never been.
It’s a time for growth and innovation, and no longer a time of saying, “That’s just the way things work.”
Congratulations, Hoda! We are so thrilled for you and can’t wait to see #SavannahHodaTODAY every day.
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