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.”


Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

Media ministers speak during a meeting in Jeddah on Saturday. AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi
Updated 11 min 31 sec ago
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Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

  • More than 13 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release
  • The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory

JEDDAH: Media ministers for member states of the coalition for supporting legitimacy in Yemen held their fourth meeting on Saturday to discuss the ways of coordinating efforts and providing media support for coalition countries.
Saudi Minister of Information Awwad Al-Awwad said: “Houthi militias are one of the tools of Iran to threaten the stability of the region, and their ambitions have not stopped at attacking Yemenis and seizing their lands, but they exceeded that to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia by launching more than 152 ballistic missiles intercepted by our air defense forces and prevented from reaching their targets.”
He added: “The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory with its full commitment to the rules of engagement and the protection of civilians and support of the Yemeni people and its legitimate government in resisting the enemy.”
Al-Awwad pointed out that the coalition’s support has not been limited to military operations, but has extended to other economic, security, relief and service aspects, infrastructure development projects, paving roads, rehabilitating ports and increasing their capacity.
Al-Awwad told Arab News that the meeting highlighted the blatant interference of Iran in the region, especially in Yemen, through its support for the Houthi militias.
“Some news agencies transmit news that may not be authenticated,” he said. “We want to tell them that there are reliable sources… that can be consulted. Therefore, news agencies were told to coordinate and publication shall be consolidated.”
He continued: “You are aware of what media stations hostile to the coalition countries and the legitimate government in Yemen are doing to falsify, deceive, fabricate stories, propagate rumors, broadcast distorted information, influence minds and emotions, and downgrade Yemeni army and coalition force success in diplomatic and various fields.
Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said: “The Houthis will not go to peace until their military stalemate is broken and we have no choice but to cut (off) Iran’s arm in Yemen.
“More than 13,000 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Additional Secretary Shafqat Jaleel said: “Pakistan calls for unconditional restoration of the legitimate government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and withdrawal of rebel forces from the territories seized by them, including the capital Sanaa.
“Pakistan contributed $1 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen last year and welcomes the Saudi initiative of providing relief to war victims in Yemen. Pakistan supports all efforts for peace in Yemen and calls for a political settlement, which can ensure lasting peace in the country,” he added.
Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber, chairman of the National Media Council of the UAE, said: “The restoration of the legitimate government … enhances the chances of reaching a peaceful solution and puts pressure on the Houthi militias to sit at the negotiating table and break the deadlock in the political process.”
Bahraini Information Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi stressed that “the security and stability of our Arab region, our identity, our unity and the sovereignty of our country, impose on all our media moral, professional and national responsibilities as a basic weapon and a strategic partner with our armed forces in the face of extremist terrorist organizations and blatant external interference.”
The conference was represented by media ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Sudan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Djibouti, Malaysia, Senegal, Yemen and Pakistan.