Hoda Kotb announced as new co-anchor of Today Show

NEW YORK (WCMH/AP) — Hoda Kotb was officially announced as the new co-anchor of the Today Show.

Kotb joined Savannah Guthrie Tuesday to make her official debut.

Kotb, 53, will join Savannah Guthrie at the anchor desk during the first two hours of the morning news program. She also will continue to co-host TODAY’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.

“It’s 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today,” Guthrie announced after the program’s opening announcement featuring Kotb’s name for the first time. “This has to be the most popular decision NBC News have ever made and I’m so thrilled.”

Kotb takes over for former host Matt Lauer, who was fired for sexual misconduct in November.

Kotb, who joined NBC News in 1998 as a correspondent for “Dateline,” has been a frequent substitute in the TODAY anchor chair over the years.