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Hoda_Kotb_at_Virginia_TechThis morning, January 2, 2018, Hoda Kotb replaced Matt Lauer on the Today Show. Hoda Kotb took Matt Lauer’s place as permanent co-anchor after he was fired for sexual misconduct in November, and this morning marks the first time that the show will be hosted by two women. The first two hours of the show are now hosted by Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda will continue to co-host the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford as she has been doing since 2008. The third hour of the Today show is currently hosted by Megyn Kelly.

Hoda has been a substitute co-anchor for almost a decade and replaced Matt Lauer on an interim basis after his firing. She has authored three books, hosts “The Hoda Show” on Sirius XM and won a Peabody award for her work as a correspondent for “Dateline NBC.” Savannah Guthriewas excited about her new co-host and said, “We are kicking off the year right. Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today,” Savannah said. “Let’s give her a round of applause. This has to be the most popular decision that NBC has ever made, and I am so thrilled.”

The decision to promote Hoda was officially announced by NBC News chairman Andy Lack in a memo just before showtime. “Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running,” Andy wrote. “They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today.’”

Two female anchors is a departure from tradition in morning shows, most of which have both a male and female. In Today’s case, however, the shift to an all-female team fits with the demographics of Today’s viewership. The Today show has an overwhelmingly female audience, and it makes sense for NBC to replace Matt Lauer with a female co-anchor that can connect easily with the viewers of the network’s most profitable franchise.

Hoda has certainly proven her ability both in her long years working with “Dateline” and by serving as the she was the emergency substitute host on the very morning Matt Lauer was fired.  In the days following Matt’s dismissal, Andy Lack commented that the network was “very fortunate to have someone like Hoda who brings immense talent and tremendous positive energy, and then on top of that happens to have wonderful chemistry with Savannah. It makes this a decision that everyone can embrace and feel terrific about.”

Savannah agreed with Andy. “It was such a shock to wake up one day and not have Matt, but it was the most natural and comforting thing in the world to have Hoda right there,” Savannah said. “No one wanted that to stop.”

NBC officially offered the job to Hoda just before the holidays, and so far, she is thrilled about her new position. “I’m pinching myself,” Hoda said. “I think that we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted.”

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