BUSINESS
01/02/2018 08:07 EST | Updated 01/02/2018 11:54 EST

Hoda Kotb Replaces Matt Lauer As 'Today' Co-Anchor

“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made."

Raymond Hall via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Hoda Kotb is seen on the set of 'The Today Show' on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Longtime NBC News personality Hoda Kotb has been named the co-anchor of “Today,” permanently replacing Matt Lauer after he was fired in November. 

“It’s 2018, and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of ‘Today,’” anchor Savannah Guthrie announced Tuesday on air. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made, and I’m so thrilled.”

Guthrie and Kotb will become the first all-female team to jointly anchor the morning show’s first two hours. Kotb will also continue co-hosting the fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, according to an NBC News press release. 

NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent an email earlier on Tuesday to tell staff about the change. 

“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,” Lack wrote. 

Kotb, who has for years been a frequent substitute for the primary anchor team, began temporarily filling in for Lauer after he was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct. 

“This is a very tough morning for both of us,” Kotb said on air the morning Lauer’s firing was announced. “I’ve known Matt for 15 years and I’ve loved him as a friend and a colleague, and just like you were saying, Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.”

Kotb has been with the network since 1998, when she joined as a correspondent for “Dateline.” She has won Emmy awards, a Gracie award and an Edward R. Murrow award in that time. 

Watch the full clip below: