The 53-year-old Kotb has been an integral part of Today in recent years, hosting the fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford. She was also sitting next to Guthrie last week when she announced that Lauer was fired by NBC News for alleged sexual misconduct.
“This is a very tough morning for both of us. I’ve known Matt for 15 years, and I’ve loved him as a friend and as a colleague,” Kotb said on-air after Lauer was fired. “It’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know walks in this building every single day. . . . We’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it, and it’ll take some time for that.”
NBC News is still considering a male replacement for Lauer, although there was talk of Megyn Kelly coming in. A source told ET that Morning Joe and Sunday Today host Willie Geist and Weekend Today co-anchor Craig Melvin are in the running for the position.
ET's source also said NBCUniversal's HR department is still in the early stages of an investigation into Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct. There have been about 60 meetings with employees on Lauer's behavior.
The Today team had its annual holiday party on Thursday, which was reportedly more low-key than year's past.
Photo credit: Andrew Eccles / NBC