Hoda Kotb Is Replacing Matt Lauer on the Today Show

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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). Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts blazed that path for ABC's Good Morning America in the 2000s, but morning shows have traditionally paired a man and a woman as host.

While Kotb added: "There's no one I'd rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you". She has often worked as a fill-in host during earlier hours of the "Today" show in the past, including on shows since Lauer was terminated.

NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Kotb's promotion in a memo to staff on Tuesday (02Jan18). While joining Guthrie on Monday morning, Kotb revealed her enthusiasm.

"I'm pinching myself", she added.

Kotb joins Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk - making this Today's first-ever all-female anchor team.

Kotb, in turn, joked that "we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the opening of that show".

"They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of TODAY", Lack said in a statement.

Kotb previously stepped in as a replacement for Lauer, who was sacked in late November of past year for what NBC called "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace".

Hoda Kotb, who took some time off in 2017 to welcome her adopted daughter Hayley Lee, first joined NBC News back in 1998 as a Dateline correspondent, having built a career as one of New Orleans' most recognizable anchors and reporters.

Ratings could explain the decision to keep Kotb as a host of the show. She's subbed for Lauer since the day he was sacked and Today has won four straight weeks in the ratings, after having spent much of the past few years in second behind ABC.

According to USA Today, "TODAY" got a ratings boost the month after Lauer was sacked. "This is working, it feels good, '" Guthrie said in an interview with PEOPLE Magazine.

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