She made her official debut on Tuesday, alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie, directly after a statement from NBC chairman Andy Lack announcing her promotion.
Guthrie opened Tuesday’s show by saying: “It’s 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today.”
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made,” she continued, “and I’m so thrilled.”
Kotb has regularly filled in as a co-host on Today in the past, and accompanied Guthrie on Nov. 28 to break the news of Lauer’s firing.
In an email to staff, Lack wrote: “Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running.”
“Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances. It’s a tribute to her wide range and her innate curiosity,” Lack said.
Kotb and Guthrie will co-host the 7 to 9 a.m. hours of the Today show, and Kotb will continue to host the 10 a.m. hour of Today alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, NBC News said in a statement.
“I’m pinching myself,” said Kotb upon the announcement on Tuesday’s show.