Kotb said she was pinching herself as the show kicked off its new era.
It's certainly a sage one in the midst of the #MeToo movement, when replacing allegedly predatory men with qualified women is becoming something of a trend (see also: Robin Wright ascending to the sole star of House of Cards following sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey; Christiane Amanpour, at least temporarily, taking over Charlie Rose's vacant timeslot on PBS).
NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced the news in a memo right before the "Today" broadcast, according to CNN. Megyn Kelly hosts the show's third hour.More news: Supermoon kicks off 2018
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They are the first all-woman pair to anchor the NBC news program. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show".
Kotb has also hosted the 10am hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008, which she will continue to do.
Kotb, who was joined by Guthrie for her interview with ET, told the entertainment outlet she's been in touch with Lauer since his ousting. She joined NBC News in 1998, first working as a "Dateline" correspondent. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of 'TODAY'".
A day after he was sacked, the network said two more women had come forward.
Ben Bogardus, a journalism professor at Connecticut's Quinnipiac College, said Kotb's selection was a good one "because it reinforces the sense of a family coming together after a shared trauma". And considering Today's ratings have been rising in the month after Lauer's exit, it probably wasn't hard to come to the decision that Kotb was an easy choice for the long haul.