In the month or so since that happened, Today hadn't officially found a substitution for Lauer's seat, but now that 2018 is in full gear, NBC News has announced Today vet Hoda Kotb has officially taken over as the show's official co-anchor alongside Savannah Guthrie.
Mr. Lauer was sacked late a year ago for alleged sexual misconduct amid the national movement to address workplace harassment.
"I am pinching myself", Kotb, who said she was offered the role over the holidays, replied.
It's certainly a sage one in the midst of the #MeToo movement, when replacing allegedly predatory men with qualified women is becoming something of a trend (see also: Robin Wright ascending to the sole star of House of Cards following sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey; Christiane Amanpour, at least temporarily, taking over Charlie Rose's vacant timeslot on PBS).
NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Kotb's promotion in a memo to staff on Tuesday (02Jan18). 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.
"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.
In this November 29, 2017, photo, Savannah Guthrie, right, and Hoda Kotb appear with the Rockettes during the 85th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in NY. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of 'TODAY'". "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Va, where my mom has likely fainted". She joined NBC News in 1998, first working as a "Dateline" correspondent.
She has subbed for Lauer beginning on the day he was sacked.
In addition to co-anchoring the first two hours of Today, Kotb will also continue to co-host the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford.
"Weirdly, it doesn't feel like the headline because we've worked together for a long time", Kotb told the publication.