Why Was Hoda Kotb Missing From ‘Today’? Host’s Absence From TV Explained
Feeling her absence! Hoda Kotb was noticeably missing from the Today show and Hoda and Jenna. Keep reading for details about the anchor.
What Happened to Hoda Kotb?
Hoda, 58, was absent from Today during the week of March 20, nearly two weeks after her daughter Hope was hospitalized. Luckily, her hiatus was pre-planned, as she is on a spring break vacation with her two children. Both Hoda and her Hoda & Jenna costar, Jenna Bush Hager, are out of office to spend spring break with their families. Instead, pre-recorded episodes of their show have been airing during the third hour of Today.
Prior to that, she was missed on the daily talk show on February 24 and fans were concerned when she was also absent from her desk on February 27. She was replaced by World News Tonight anchor Tom Llamas during her first day out and Craig Melvin stepped in for her second day of absence.
As far as Today With Hoda and Jenna, cohost Jenna was joined by Sheinelle Jones and Willie Geist. More of her costars filled in for Hoda during her days-long absence from the show.
Why Was Hoda Kotb Missing From ‘Today’?
Initially, her fellow Today cohosts didn’t divulge much information about her absence during her daughter’s health struggles.
“Hoda’s off today,” Savannah Guthrie simply mentioned in passing during a broadcast on February 26.
Many fans were hoping Hoda was taking some much-deserved vacation time over the long weekend, as the Oklahoma native had been posting regularly on her Instagram account.
She shared a plethora of inspiring quotes on her feed over the weekend, including ones that read: “She’s magic, that one,” “Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts” and “Choose hope.”
On March 1, Hoda’s cohosts gave another update on her absence from the series. This time, Savannah was also missing from the broadcast and had to leave abruptly during the show the day before.
“We mentioned that Savannah and Hoda are both off. Savannah, she’s home after a positive COVID test yesterday. We are wishing our friend a speedy recovery,” Craig said at the top of the episode. “And as for Hoda, we know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda’s OK. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with, so we look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back at the desk real, real soon.”
While the Where We Belong author was still absent for the March 3 episode, she made a pre-taped appearance for an interview with Olivia Newton-John’s husband John Easterling and daughter Chloe Lattanzi.
Sheinelle introduced the interview saying Hoda “recently” spoke to the late Grease actress’ family, and Craig later teased that Hoda would “be back with us soon,” but did not specify a date.
When Did Hoda Kotb Return to ‘Today’?
The Emmy winner returned to the show after a two-week absence on Monday, March 6, and detailed her daughter Hope Catherine’s health battle that led to her taking TV hiatus.
“My youngest, Hope, was in the ICU and then in the hospital for a little over a week,” Hoda revealed during the episode. “I’m so grateful she’s home, she is back home. I was waiting for that day to come, and we are watching her closely.”
Savannah also returned to Today on the same day and was there to offer her friend support as she opened up about Hope’s recovery.
”You know what I realized too, Savannah? It’s like, when your child is ill, the amount of gratitude you can have for people who helped you out,” Hoda continued. “So, I’m grateful for the doctors at Weill Cornell who were amazing and the nurses. And I’m grateful for my family and I’m grateful for friends like you who were there every single day. So, I want to say thank you for that. I love you.”
In addition to her big job at the New York City news station, she’s a doting mom to two daughters, Haley Joy, whom she adopted in February 2017, and Hope, whom she adopted in 2019. She coparents her children with ex Joel Schiffman. Although her romantic relationship with the financier ended, Hoda previously described her ex as a “great dad.”
“I don’t regret one day, not one minute, not one second of our time together because it brought me here. I have two incredible children I share with him. And it’s because of Joel that I have Haley and Hope, without question,” she told People after announcing their split in January 2022. “I think I might have been too afraid to do it alone. That’s not something I love to admit, but it’s true.”
Is Hoda Kotb Leaving ‘Today’?
Hoda has given no indication that she’s leaving Today, where she first joined as the fourth hour host alongside Kathie Lee Gifford in 2008. However, her social media use on February 27 struck some followers as cryptic, as she posted a landscape photo with the words, “Choose Hope,” written across it. She accompanied the photo with three red heart emojis in the caption.
Some users in the comment section took Hoda’s post as a sign that change is on the horizon, asking, “What happened to you?” and, “When are you coming back?” among other inquiries.