'It could not happen to a sweeter, better, more beloved person.'
It's official: Hoda Kotb is the new permanent co-host of "Today" on NBC.
Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images.
Kotb had been the temporary replacement for Matt Lauer since November.
But, throughout the past month, she seemed to impress all the right people.
Her earnest, delicate on-air handling of Lauer's dismissal was widely praised, CNN noted, after the former "Today" co-host was fired for mounting allegations of sexual harassment.
"This is a very tough morning for both of us," Kotb said on the day of Lauer's firing, sitting alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie. "It's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day."
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Kotb's promotion to co-host is a big deal, and fans and celebrities were quick to celebrate the occasion.
It's the first time "Today" as been anchored by two women, bucking tradition that typically places a man and woman in co-host roles.
Fellow NBC stars Kathie Lee Gifford, Al Roker, and Lester Holt sang Kotb's praises.
So happy for my dear friend @hodakotb !! Congratulations on being named the new Co Anchor of @TODAYshow !! Nobody does it better!!— Kathie Lee Gifford (@Kathie Lee Gifford) 1514895083
A hearty #congratulations to @hodakotb officially our new @TODAYshow #cohost with @SavannahGuthrie… https://t.co/zFsflh7tzz— Al Roker (@Al Roker) 1514895139
Congratulations @hodakotb Just officially named new co-host of @TODAYshow along side @SavannahGuthrie What a great team to wake up to!— Lester Holt (@Lester Holt) 1514895361
Actor and producer Mindy Kaling said she was "looking forward to [Kotb] lighting up [her] morning in a brand new way."
Congratulations @hodakotb! Looking forward to you lighting up my morning in a brand new way. ❤️— Mindy Kaling (@Mindy Kaling) 1514905979
Singer-songwriter Darius Rucker chimed in, "You go girl."
To say I am happy for @hodakotb would be an extreme understatement!! You go girl. Congratulations on @TODAYshow. U… https://t.co/AGSyBfOh5F— Darius Rucker (@Darius Rucker) 1514901370
Chelsea Clinton sent warm congratulations.
Congratulations @hodakotb! https://t.co/DDeTnRyIrw— Chelsea Clinton (@Chelsea Clinton) 1514894771
The fact that Kotb is a woman of color also shouldn't be overlooked, some pointed out.
With Hoda Kotb now confirmed as Matt Lasuer’s replacement on the Today show, this is the second time a talented per… https://t.co/dxxWYrx3VF— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Eric Deggans at NPR) 1514897148
Of course, Kotb seemed over the moon about her new role.
"Whaaaaaatttttttt!" she captioned on Twitter with a photo of her and Guthrie.
Whaaaaaatttttttt! #SavannahHodaTODAY https://t.co/qX53MUHxcj— Hoda Kotb (@Hoda Kotb) 1514893833
"It could not happen to a sweeter, better, more beloved person," Gifford said on-air Tuesday morning.
While Lauer's absence may have initially shaken the "Today" team, it hasn't shaken the morning show's ratings.
In fact, in the weeks that followed his dismissal, "Today's" viewership actually increased as Kotb sat in as co-host, besting rival "Good Morning America" for the first time in over a year, according to The New York Times.
Photo by Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images.
Over on CBS' "This Morning," Charlie Rose's departure didn't spark a ratings downturn either; viewership has held steady after the iconic journalist was fired for sexual misconduct just days before Lauer's dismissal.
Maybe morning newsmen aren't so vital in 2018 after all?