If you watched the Today show earlier this week (and the ratings indicate that fewer of you are) then you certainly noticed that Hoda Kotb was sitting in for Savannah Guthrie for a few days, putting her on camera much earlier than her usual fourth hour with Kathy Lee. We caught her a couple of times and thought she did a great job — engaging, funny, relatable, all the things that a morning show host should be. It’s been so long, you almost forget that she started out doing the news completely sober, without a sip of wine in sight. Apparently, we’re not the only ones who were impressed with her work beside Matt Lauer.
The New York Times’ media reporter Brian Stelter saw lots of tweets from people singing Hoda’s praises, many asking that Kotb stick with the job for the long-term. The Huffington Post notes that Kotb’s name had been in the running to replace Ann Curry when she was ousted from the program. However, the article says, Guthrie is in the chair and the network wouldn’t want to go through another major change so quickly.
But, Today has been thirsting for good news. A recent New York magazine feature went into great detail about the meltdown at the show in the wake of Curry’s removal, and the show lost the top spot in the ratings to GMA a few months ago, the first time that happened in 16 years.
HuffPo says the positive feedback will increase Hotb’s standing at the show, which we agree with. We’re, no doubt, going to see her sitting in for Guthrie more often. And who knows. Hoda’s great foil for KLG, but a more serious position could be in her future. The Today show blog has a montage of all the fun she had.