Hosting duties at the Today show have been up in the air since Matt Lauer was fired in November following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. While there is no real silver lining to the bleak situation (or to any of the other #MeToo revelations), Lauer’s dismissal left an opening at the show that just set off 2018 to an empowered start: Hoda Kotb will officially join Savannah Guthrie as co-anchor of the morning show. It’s the first time ever the broadcast will be totally female-fronted, Time reports.
“It was the most natural and comforting thing in the world to have Hoda right there. No one wanted that to stop.” Savannah Guthrie, Today co-anchor
Kotb, who will reportedly continue hosting Today‘s fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, has been unofficially occupying the co-anchor role since Lauer’s dismissal, but the news of her permanent position was announced this morning in an exclusive from People. “We’re 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,” NBC News Group chairman Andy Lack told the magazine. “It makes this a decision that everyone can embrace and feel terrific about.”
The choice also makes good on Merriam-Webster’s 2017 word of the year (feminism): This is first time in the 67-year history of Today that the two main anchors are female. Although this #bossbabe hosting duo is not a first for television in general, it is certainly still rare to have two women fronting a show.
When the Today broke its own news of the Lauer scandal to its viewers, Guthrie and Kotb announced it together. “It was the most natural and comforting thing in the world to have Hoda right there. No one wanted that to stop,” Guthrie told People.
And now they’re in it together for the long haul. Today, and for all days moving forward, the future is almost completely female on the staple morning news program.