Hoda Kotb officially replaces Matt Lauer on Today show

Hoda Kotb joins Savannah Guthrie as the co-anchor on the'TODAY show

Kotb's new role as the host of the 7-9 a.m. hours of the popular morning show - alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie, weather anchor Al Roker and Orange Room host Carson Daly - began Tuesday morning (Jan. 2).

Interestingly, Hoda Kotb's new position as co-anchor will not immediately take her away from the 10:00 a.m. hour, where she sits alongside Kathie Lee Gifford.

"When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn't matter".

"There's no one I'd rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you", Kotb said. Megyn Kelly hosts the show's third hour.

"I'm pinching myself", Kotb said after the program's opening".

The news means Kotb will continue to host alongside Savannah Guthrie in the 7am to 9am slot. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Va, where my mom has likely fainted".

Kotb's promotion follows Matt Lauer's firing amid sexual harassment allegations.

"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", NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said in an email to the staff Tuesday, according to Deadline. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of 'TODAY'".

Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a Dateline NBC correspondent, after working in local news in New Orleans. And considering Today's ratings have been rising in the month after Lauer's exit, it probably wasn't hard to come to the decision that Kotb was an easy choice for the long haul. The decision signals a turning point of sorts for NBC: In addition to the Lauer scandal, the network also reviewed 2005 footage from an NBC-owned show in which President Trump bragged about grabbing women's genitalia but was beaten to publication by The Washington Post, and passed on an exposé of Mr. Weinstein by an MSNBC contributor.

Ben Bogardus, a journalism professor at Connecticut's Quinnipiac College, said Kotb's selection was a good one "because it reinforces the sense of a family coming together after a shared trauma".

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