When it was announced that Today‘s longtime anchor, Matt Lauer, had been fired for sexual misconduct, it seemed unlikely that people didn’t see it coming. Still, no one was caught more off-guard than his co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, who broke the news on Nov. 29, 2017, and after reading a statement from NBC News chairman, Andi Lack, she said, “This is a sad morning at NBC News… We just learned this moments ago. Just this morning. As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this.”
Since then, Savannah has continued to open up about this experience. During a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Savannah and Matt’s replacement, Hoda Kotb, reflected on how “hard” and “excruciating” the situation was for them. “We were literally both woken up out of our beds with this information. We had no idea. We had to go on the air and say something with very little information. In fact, the information we said was [all] the information we knew, it wasn’t like we were holding back,” Savannah shared.
Hoda chimed in, “Just minutes before we’re going on the air we went to Savannah’s dressing room and had a moment of prayer. It was hard. It was heavy.” She added, “We had each other’s back, but we didn’t know how emotional it would feel. When you’re blindsided with information… you’re almost shocked, you don’t really feel the thing yet.” The co-anchors described the day as “crushing” and “debilitating” with “a lot of tears.”
The 46-year-old morning show host was very close to Matt during the five years that they worked together. A source told Entertainment Tonight she was “affected the most” by the news.
Savannah previously shared with USA Today, “We woke up to the news that was shocking, just like everyone who turned on the show every day. Man, it’s hard to get through something like that. We all try to keep our eye on the ball and try to manage this the best we can.” Savannah became Matt’s co-host on July 9, 2012 — taking over for Ann Curry. They hosted several events together including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Since Matt was fired at NBC, Hoda joined Savannah as the new co-host — making Today history as the first female duo on the morning program. Savannah said of her new partner that “something really lovely and positive has happened.”
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