Fans rejoiced on social media when Hoda Kotb was announced as the full-time replacement for disgraced Matt Lauer on “TODAY.”
The big news was announced in the early hours of Jan. 2, and Kotb’s new full-time co-host Savannah Guthrie was there to share the news with the viewers of Tuesday’s broadcast.
“Welcome to TODAY. It’s 2018, and we are kicking off the New Year right, because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of ‘TODAY,'” Guthrie started the show. “This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made!”
“I’m pinching myself,” Kotb added with a big smile and laugh.
The giggles continued when Guthrie insisted they play the introduction three more times to hear Kotb’s name again.
“Hoda, you are a partner and a friend and a sister, and I am so happy to be doing this,” Guthrie said.
“Well, there’s no one else I would rather be sitting next to in 2018,” Kotb said. Guthrie encouraged fans to share their well-wishes to the new co-anchor using #SavannahHodaTODAY, and fans were quick to celebrate on Twitter, making the hashtag quickly climb to number 1. Kotb and Guthrie’s colleagues also joined in on the congratulations messages posted to Twitter.
Of course, not everyone was pleased with the decision, and a few trolls came out to share their dismay for the decision on Twitter.
Lauer was fired from “TODAY” and NBC News in November after a female colleague came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against him stemming back from the winter Olympics in Sochi. Following the allegations, Lauer released a statement that Guthrie and Kotb delivered to viewers on Nov. 30.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement, in part. “The last two days have forced me to take a hard look at my own flaws.”