'Today' Show Names Matt Lauer Replacement

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NBC News announced Tuesday that Hoda Kotb will replace Matt Lauer as co-host of the “Today” show.

The 53-year-old anchor was promoted to the co-host position after filling in over the past five weeks. She joins co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, weather anchor Al Roker and Orange Room host Carson Daly during the 7-9 a.m. hours of the program.

The decision was announced at the beginning of the “Today” show on Tuesday morning, according to The U.K. Daily Mail.

“It’s 2018, and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today,” said Guthrie at the top of the show.

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“Lets give her a round of applause! This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled,” she continued.

A member of the “Today” show talent since 2008, Kotb has co-hosted the fourth hour of the morning show with Kathie Lee Gifford for the past decade.

Kotb began filling in during the earlier hours after Matt Lauer was let go from NBC in November amid sexual harassment allegations.

In addition to her promotion, Kotb will continue to co-host the last hour of the program alongside Gifford, who took to Twitter to express her congratulations.

The duo of Guthrie and Kotb marks the first time in the show’s history that two women will serve as the main anchors of the popular morning show.

“I’m pinching myself, I think that we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show,” exclaimed Kotb.

Kotb’s intro was then replayed, as is the tradition whenever a new “Today” anchor officially starts.

Kotb sat alongside Guthrie in November when NBC announced that Lauer had been terminated.

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However, in a recent interview with People magazine, Kotb asserted that she was never after Lauer’s position.

“We were just trying to make it through those days together” she said.

“Sometimes when you go through something with someone, you see something special. I think that’s what happened. I didn’t think about whether it would be me.”

The program’s ratings have apparently soared since Kotb began filling in.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” has typically attracted more overall viewers, although “Today” has remained the highest-rated show for viewers ages 25-54, according to The Daily Mail.

However, recently released ratings for the past three weeks have NBC winning both categories.

As for Lauer, reports say the former anchor has no plans to return to the television industry.

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