NBC names Hoda Kotb as Lauer replacement on ‘Today’

Hoda Kotb
Updated 03 January 2018
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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.”


Facebook, Twitter remove pages promoting Russian and Iranian propaganda

A woman displays photos of US President Donald Trump as she follows the news on her mobile phone in Tehran, Iran, in this October 13, 2017 file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 22 August 2018
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Facebook, Twitter remove pages promoting Russian and Iranian propaganda

  • The account removals comes weeks after Facebook took down accounts originating in Russia for engaging in deceiving behavior
  • Twitter called the effort “coordinated manipulation”

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. said on Tuesday that they each removed about 300 accounts, mostly originating in Iran, that were found to be engaged in coordinated “inauthentic behavior.”
The social media companies acted on a tip from cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc, which said on Tuesday that the accounts were promoting Iranian propaganda, including discussion of “anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian themes.”
“We’ve removed 652 Pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people across multiple Internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, said in a blog post.
Twitter called the effort “coordinated manipulation.”
The influence effort, as FireEye described it, began last year and continued through this month, the company said in a blog post.
“However, it is important to note that the activity does not appear to have been specifically designed to influence the 2018 US midterm elections, as it extends well beyond US audiences and US politics,” FireEye said.
The account removals comes weeks after Facebook took down accounts originating in Russia for engaging in deceiving behavior. The company said on Tuesday that it found additional inauthentic behavior tied to Russia, but that the activity does not appear linked to the campaign tied to Iran.