Hoda Kotb, Today

Andrew Eccles/NBC

New year, new duo!

Hoda Kotb has been named the co-anchor of NBC's Today, making her official debut Tuesday. Kotb will join Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk during the first two hours of the morning news program—and she will continue to co-host the fourth hour alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. "We are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today. Let's give her a round of applause!" Guthrie, who was named an anchor after replacing Ann Curry in 2012, said. "This has to be the most popular decision NBC has ever made, and I am so thrilled!"

"I am pinching myself," Kotb said. "I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Va., where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show!" Guthrie turned to her and said, "Hoda, you are a partner and a friend and a sister and I am so happy to be doing this."

"Well," Kotb told Guthrie, "there is no one I would rather sit next to in 2018 than you."

The rest of the NBC/Today family wasted no time congratulating Kotb:

Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for Dateline, and she began co-hosting the fourth hour of Today in 2008. She has often filled in for absent anchors—and she's replacing Matt Lauer, who was fired Nov. 28 after allegations of sexual misconduct by a female coworker.

"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," NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said in an email Tuesday to staff. "They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today. Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. She 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."

Lauer, meanwhile, remains jobless.

(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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