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Hoda Kotb: Yup, Matt Lauter Texted Me About Today!

The Today Show introduced a new face to viewers this morning.

Actually, that’s not true:

The Today Show introduced an old face to viewers this morning… in a new position.

Savanna Guthrie opened the first fresh show of 2018 by confirming what some in the industry have suspected for the past couple weeks:

Hoda Kotb is no longer a temporary co-anchor on Today; she’s the permanent replacement for Matt Lauer, who was fired in late November due to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Said Guthrie in making this announcement:

“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…

“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled.”

It certainly is true that Kotb is a beloved member of this network’s large family.

Consider what Kathie Lee Gifford told People Magazine of her long-time friend and colleague:

“I feel happy for her because she is having the greatest year of her life, and if she’s happy, I’m happy for her.

“What’s happening to her now is something she would have given anything for earlier on in her career…

“Everybody universally adores her.  She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s more loving and kind, so when these wonderful things started happening for this wonderful woman, we were thrilled for her.”

kathie lee praise

While it’s not surprising that Gifford would comment on Kotb’s promotion, the new full-time co-host revealed to Entertainment Tonight that someone unexpected contacted her with congratulations as well:

Lauer himself!

“I did hear from [Matt], yeah,” Kotb told ET, adding:

“He texted me and he said congratulations and some really nice words, and it meant the world when I saw the text pop up… it meant the world to see that.”

Lauer has been accused of some horrible actions, but Kotb admits she keeps in touch with the disgraced reporter.

“Matt is our good friend and continues to be, and I think for both of us, we’ve just been trying to navigate this time and honor our love and friendship with Matt, but also understand and try to learn more about these circumstances,” she explains.

“So, it’s complicated when you are surprised by revelations, but you still care deeply for somebody who’s a friend.

“I think for all of us, we’ve just been trying to navigate through that, with straightforwardness and honesty and integrity.”

Also speaking to Entertainment Tonight on the revamped setup, along with the man who prompted this change, Guthrie noted:

“This has been a really hard time for this show that we love and the people who put the show together – we care so much – and having Hoda right with me every second of the way has meant everything.

“And we kind of held onto each other, and then discovered along the way that there’s a real partnership here, and so how wonderful that now it’s permanent, we get to just do it every day.”

Hoda has been with NBC since 1998.

She had been anchoring her own hour of Today with Gifford for several years, but will now get a chance to greet millions of people first thing every single morning.

We’re very happy for her.

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Hoda Kotb Named Permanent Today Show Co-Host

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:

hoda reaction

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?

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Hoda Kotb Shocks Fans, Reveals Adopted Baby Girl

Hoda Kotb finally has something in common with Madonna.

No, the Today Show co-host has not said anything of late about a desire to blow up the White House.

But Hoda has come out and surprised fans by revealing that she just adopted a baby girl!

And here’s a photo of Kotb and that baby girl, who is named Haley Joy Kotb!

The Today anchor revealed on Tuesday morning that the newborn entered the world on February 14, prompting her to gush over the phone on air:

“She’s a Valentine’s baby so she’s a little nugget. She is the love of my life!”

The precious arrival thrilled and stunned Hoda’s famous colleagues, except for close friend Kathie Lee Gifford, who knew about the adoption a few days ago… yet somehow managed to keep the news a secret.

“I’ve got the biggest mouth in the world and I’ve said zilch,” Gifford said. “Hoda, we are thrilled for you, sweetheart. You were made to be a mom.”

Matt Lauer, of course, agreed with this assessment.

“This is such fantastic news. This little girl, Haley, is the luckiest girl on the planet,” he said, adding:

“You are going to be one of the most fantastic moms I can ever imagine.”

Hoda Kotb congrats

Kotb is 52 years old.

She moved in with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman, last year and  was previously married to former University of New Orleans tennis coach Burzis Kanga.

The couple divorced in 2007 after two years as husband and wife; they had no children together.

“Can’t. Stop. Crying. So thrilled for you , @hodakotb,” wrote Jenna Hager Bush on Twitter. “Haley Joy’s life will be defined by *JOY* with you as a mama. Love!”

Added Savannah Guthrie:

“Overjoyed for @hodakotb and her little comet Haley – a brilliant flash of light for our world. Love love love and LOVE.”

As you can see below, they weren’t the only people happy for Kotb and her little one:

tweets about Hoda Kotb

Last week, Hoda hinted at the reason behind her recent time off by sharing inspirational quotes on her social media account.

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings,” read one of the messages, while another read:

“For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you.”

And Kotb continued down this same motivational path this morning, updating her Instagram page with a photo that had the following words written on it:

“And then my soul saw you and it kind of went ‘Oh there you are. I’ve been looking for you.'”

hoda quote

We’re so very happy for Hoda!

She is one of several celebrities who have become a parent via adoption.

Click around below to see which other stars fit this parental bill and send them all your congratulations!

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Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb to Billy Bush: SEE YA!

According to nearly every report out there, Billy Bush is not long for The Today Show.

Any day now – heck, any minute now – the embattled reporter will part ways with NBC and the aforementioned morning program.

And, according to a new gossip item, fellow Today Show anchors Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb have a message for Bush before he leaves:

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Or, actually, whatever: go ahead and let the door smack you right in your immature rear end.

A network insider allegedly tells Radar Online that Gifford and Kotb, who host their own (often drunk) hour of Today, “never really seemed to like Billy to begin with.”

For what reason?

They supposedly viewed Bush as more of a “red carpet reporter” than a serious journalist.

It’s not exactly hard to understand why they would form this point of view, considering Bush rose to fame as an anchor of Access Hollywood.

“Aside from that, Kathie and Hoda are fiercely protective of Matt and Al,” the network insider claimed, referring, of course, to Matt Lauer and Al Roker.

Bush and Roker famously got into an on-air disagreement this summer after Bush refused to call swimmer Ryan Lochte out as a liar.

Roker tried to sit calmly on the set and explain to Bush why Lochte had very clearly lied, repeatedly, after being the victim of robbery that never took place during the Olympics.

That scandal was nothing, of course, compared to footage from 2005 of Bush and Donald Trump on board an Access Hollywood bus.

It surfaced earlier this month and it featured Bush egging Trump on while the Presidential candidate talked about “grabbing” the genitalia of any woman he wanted to because he’s a “star” and could therefore get away with it.

Bush also referred to soap opera actress Arianne Zucker as being “hot as shit,” while telling Trump he “scored” because he would soon be shooting a cameo with her.

“When the tape leaked on Friday, Kathie and Hoda were among the people who wanted Billy suspended,” the source told Radar, even adding:

“They were instrumental in NBC’s decision.”

We find that a bit hard to believe.

Suspending and ultimately parting ways with Bush seems like a no-brainer for the network, considering the backlash that has ensued in light of this video.

We doubt executives really needed Gifford and Kotb to weigh in on the controversy.

But we have heard that Bush wasn’t liked across the spectrum of Today employees, which probably did make his quasi firing a lot easier to decide on.

There has been no one in Bush’s corner throughout this ordeal.

When the decision to take Bush off air indefinitely came down, the insider concludes of Kathie Lee and Hoda:

“They were practically jumping for joy!”

Now, that, we believe.

We’re also guessing they poured themselves a rather large glass of wine in celebration.

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