- Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show told People magazine in an interview that they are still heartbroken over NBC’s firing of Matt Lauer over sexual misconduct allegations.
- The pair described saying a prayer before going on air in November to announce the news of Lauer’s firing.
- Kotb is permanently replacing Lauer as the “Today” show’s co-anchor, NBC announced Tuesday.
“Today” show anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie said they remain heartbroken over news of the sexual misconduct allegations against their former colleague Matt Lauer and his firing by NBC in November.
The network announced Tuesday that Kotb, a beloved NBC veteran, will permanently replace Lauer on the show.
“For me, I just am trying to get comfortable with how complicated the feelings around all of it are, and it is complicated. And just trying to have love and compassion for everyone concerned,” Guthrie said in an interview with People magazine published Tuesday.
“I think you could see from the moment that the news happened that our hearts were broken, and in lots of ways, they still are.”
Guthrie was the first to announce Lauer’s firing on the morning show in an emotional segment explaining that she and her colleagues were “devastated” by the news and “grappling” with how to process it. But Guthrie and Kotb vowed at the time to cover the story “as reporters, as journalists” and be transparent with viewers.
“I’m heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear friend and partner, and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said in the November 29 segment.
“And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.”
Guthrie and Kotb told People that before they went on air that morning, they said a prayer in Guthrie’s dressing room and vowed to make it through the incident together.
“We just sort of sat there and I was sort of on autopilot, I don’t really remember a lot of it, but I do remember just sort of holding onto Savannah and saying it just wasn’t in our hands anymore, it was in God’s hands,” Kotb said.
Though Lauer has largely stayed out of the spotlight since his firing and since multiple other women came out with public accusations against him, he privately congratulated Kotb on replacing him, Kotb told E! News on Tuesday.
“He was sweet this morning. Certain texts popped up, and there was one from Matt: Congratulations!” Kotb said. “It meant the world to me to hear from him.”