NBC names Hoda Kotb as Lauer replacement on ‘Today’

Hoda Kotb
Updated 03 January 2018

NBC names Hoda Kotb as Lauer replacement on ‘Today’

NEW YORK: NBC News opened the new year Tuesday by appointing Hoda Kotb as co-anchor of the “Today” show’s first two hours with Savannah Guthrie, replacing Matt Lauer following his firing on sexual misconduct charges in late November. Kotb, 53, will continue to co-host the show’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.
It will be the first all-female team headlining “Today” in the show’s 65-year history. Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts blazed that path for ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the 2000s, but morning shows have traditionally paired a man and a woman as host. With an audience dominated by women in an era where news of badly behaving men is frequent, the Guthrie-Kotb pairing may be particularly timely.
“Today” won’t be an all-female zone in its first half, however, with longtime weather forecaster Al Roker and correspondent Carson Daly as regulars. Megyn Kelly hosts the show’s third hour.
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled,” Guthrie said on Tuesday, announcing the appointment on the air.
“I am pinching myself,” said a beaming Kotb, sitting beside her. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted.”
Lauer’s eventual replacement had long been the subject of internal angst but with a sudden decision forced upon the network, Kotb’s performance made it easier. She’s subbed for Lauer since the day he was fired and “Today” has won four straight weeks in the ratings, after having spent much of the past few years in second behind ABC.
“Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running,” NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said in a memo to staff on Tuesday. “They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today’.”
Lack said Kotb “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.”

How Arab News' new bureaus and digital editions are shaping the brand's news agenda 

Dubai is one of the bureaus that Arab News has opened during the publication's ongoing expansion.
Updated 20 April 2018

How Arab News' new bureaus and digital editions are shaping the brand's news agenda 

  • The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai
  • Most regional stories have an international dimension and Arab News has expanded to reflect that

JEDDAH: “Arab” news, for better or for worse, is rarely solely confined to the region.

From the bloody conflict in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the investment moves made by the wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, most regional stories have an international dimension — and this newspaper has expanded its global footprint to reflect that. 

Before September 2016, Arab News had no global bureaus or correspondents, nor did it have a vision for growing its international audience. 

Since that date, we have been creating new bureaus and recruiting new contributors regionally and internationally, as part of our “more digital, more global” strategy. This aims at attracting non-Arabic speakers across the world who are seeking specialist information about Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

It means we can cover how the latest policy decision in Washington, a military move by Moscow, or a massive business investment from Beijing may impact the Arab world.

Just as decisions made on the global stage reverberate in the Middle East and North Africa, countries in the Arab world, notably Saudi Arabia, have ever closer ties with Western powers. Witness the ongoing visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US.

The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of our headquarters in Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai.

Award-winning journalist Baker Atyani leads the Southeast Asia bureau, with contributors in Islamabad, New Delhi, Kabul, Manila and Jakarta. Major stories from that bureau include an interview with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Our global operations are complemented by the Dubai bureau, headed by Ross Anderson and the London bureau, run by Ben Flanagan. 

On top of this, Arab News also has foreign contributors across the globe, reporting to Jonathan Lessware, the newspaper’s foreign editor.

Of course, the Middle East remains a key area of interest to our editors and readers. Regional contributors include Daoud Kuttab in Amman, Hazem Balousha in Gaza City, Najia Houssari in Beirut, Suadad Al-Salhy in Baghdad and Menekse Tokyay in Ankara.

As global interest in the Arab world grows, so does our network of contributors and readership. We are connecting the world.