NBC News has announced who will fill the Today show anchor chair after Matt Lauer's shocking exit and it's a face most will find familiar.
Hoda Kotb, 53, will join Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk during the first two hours of the morning news program, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced Tuesday.
"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," Lack said in an email Tuesday. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today."
Kotb has been with NBC News since the late 1990s and has been a frequent substitute in the Today anchor chair over the years.
The veteran broadcaster has also been the co-host of Today's fourth hour alongside Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008.
Kotb and Guthrie, who has co-anchored the program since 2012, will be the first pair of women to anchor the show.
"It’s 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today," Guthrie announced after the program's opening announcement featuring Kotb's name for the first time. "This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made and I’m so thrilled."
Kotb began her news career with reporting and anchoring positions for broadcast stations in New Orleans and Fort Myers. She became the co-host of the Today fourth hour with Gifford in 2008. She also hosts The Hoda Show on SiriusXM."
In 2017, Kotb announced her adoption of a baby girl. Her daughter, Haley Joy, serves as the inspiration of her upcoming book, I’ve Loved You Since Forever.
Kotb, long a popular television presence, is likely to be warmly welcomed by audiences in the wake of Matt Lauer's termination.
Lauer was fired in November after 20 years as anchor when female staffers came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
Lauer apologized in a statement.
"Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," he said. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."