Matt has been out for about a month now.
And Hoda Kotb is officially in.
Following multiple weeks as the fill-in for Lauer (who was fired, of course, due to some serious allegations of sexual misconduct), Kotb was named his full-time replacement on Tuesday morning.
She will greet viewers everyday alongside Savannah Guthrie.
“Welcome to Today and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today, so let’s give her a round of applause,” Guthrie opened the show today, adding:
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled.”
The decision marks the first time two women will co-host the long-running program each day.
“I am pinching myself,” Kotb said. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show.”
Hoda, of course, has been co-anchoring her own hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford for years.
She sat in with Guthrie on the morning they told the world that Lauer had been fired, saying on air at the time:
“It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day…
“We were both woken up with the news, kind of pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it – and it’ll take some time for that.”
In a statement to staff this week, meanwhile, NBC News chair Andy Lack said the following:
“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.
“They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today.”
You’d have to imagine there’s an appeal for executives in having two women occupy these seats as well, considering the heinous details that have been reported regarding how Lauer treated the opposite sex during his time at NBC.
“You are a partner and a friend and a sister and I am so happy to be doing this,” Guthrie told Hoda this morning.
It was actually a pretty moving exchange between the colleagues.
Kotb has been with NBC News since 1998 when she joined Dateline; she has filled in on the first two hours of Today quite frequently over the years, so this is familiar terrain for her.
As you can see below, the Internet is pretty excited over the news:
Do you share their enthusiasm?
Are you psyched to tune in each morning for Guthrie and Kotb?
Or are you more of a Good Morning America kind of person anyway?