“I did hear from him, yeah, he texted me and he said congratulations and some really nice words, and it meant the world when I saw the text pop up,” Kotb told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, January 2, after her promotion was announced. “My heart just went like, you know, it meant the world to see that.”
Savannah Guthrie announced the news on the show’s Tuesday episode. “Today it’s 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is the new coanchor of Today. Let’s give her a round of applause,” Guthrie, 46, said. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made and I’m so thrilled.”
“Hoda you are a partner, and a friend and a sister,” Guthrie continued. “And I’m so happy to be doing this.”
Guthrie and Kotb, 53, revealed Lauer’s termination from the company amid sexual harassment allegations made against him in late November. Shortly after the announcement, Lauer, 60, responded to the accusations. “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 told Us Weekly in a statement. “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job.”
Kotb also opened up to ET about how her and Guthrie’s friendships have changed with Lauer in the wake of the scandal. “You know, 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 said. “So, it’s complicated when you are surprised by revelations, but you still care deeply for somebody who’s a friend.”
She added: “I think for all of us, we’ve just been trying to navigate through that, with straightforwardness and honesty and integrity.”
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