Arab American Hoda Kotb to Replace Matt Lauer as 'Today' Co-Anchor
NBC announced Tuesday that Arab American, Hoda Kotb, will co-host the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie. Both will become the first pair of women to host the show along with weatherman Al Roker and Orange Room host Carson Daly.
Announcing Kotb’s appointment on “Today,” Guthrie stated, “This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made.”
“I am pinching myself,” said Kotb. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show.”
Kotb, was in a temporary role as co-host of the show after Matt Lauer was fired in November. His dismissal came after a female colleague made a complaint accusing him of sexual abuse.
Kotb has co-hosted the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford since 2008 and will continue in that role according to NBC.
Kotb was a news anchor in New Orleans before joining NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for “Dateline.”
Kotb was born in Norman, Oklahoma, and grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Alexandria, Virginia.
Kotb’s parents are from Egypt. She has a brother, Adel and a sister, Hala. Her mother, Sameha, works at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
In her biography, Kotb mentions that she is of Coptic ancestry, from both Lower and Upper Egypt, and details her family’s experience in Egypt and as immigrants to the United States.
She was ranked #87 on Arabian Business’ “The 100 World’s Most Influential Arabs 2017.”
Kotb’s pairing with Guthrie is also a rarity for morning news, with two female co-anchors leading a national broadcast. The first time was when Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts co-anchored ABC’s “Good Morning America” from 2006 to 2009.
Kotb and Guthrie said they were enthusiastic about their partnership in an interview with People. “When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn’t matter. If it works, it works,” Kotb stated. “We’re sort of like sisters, and everybody wants a sister.”
Compiled by Arab America