From Ellen to Rod Stewart, Congratulations Continue for Hoda Kotb

The congratulations are raining down on Hoda Kotb and NBC after the network named her co-anchor of the Today show next to Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday morning.

Kotb, 53, kept Matt Lauer's seat warm in the weeks after he was fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior." Meanwhile, ratings soared, and on Tuesday the network officially named her Lauer's replacement.

Congratulatory tweets from all kinds of celebrities started pouring in on Tuesday. Carson Daly read tweets from Reese Witherspoon, Ellen DeGeneres, Mindy Kaling and even Sir Rod Stewart on air.

When Daly read Stewart's message on air, Kotb wondered if it was indeed from Stewart himself or an imposter account.

"That was Rod Stewart? For real? Are you sure that was his verified account?" she joked.

While Kotb is certainly feeling the love this week, she told PEOPLE that she found it hard to be in a celebratory mood while knowing she was replacing Lauer, one of her good friends and longtime co-worker.

"I actually have zero of that in me," she explained. "What I do feel is like I've been part of 'us' even before today, before it all came to be. I felt really integral to our family and I was part of the group. My chair may be changed, but I feel like I felt before. Part of a strong family."

She and Guthrie said that the day Lauer was fired — and they delivered the news — they were "heartbroken."

"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 said. "That feeling was shared through our whole newsroom and our whole Today show staff, because it sounds like cliché or a promo line, but it happens to be true: We are family, and we do love each other, and families do go through hard times, and when that happens in good families, you just get closer. You pull together and you focus on the foundation and what keeps you together. I think that's what we've all been trying to do."

Kotb revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that Lauer sent her a congratulatory text when he heard the news.


"I did hear from him, yeah, he texted me and he said congratulations and some really nice words, and it meant the world when I saw the text pop up," Kotb said following her promotion. "My heart just went like, you know, it meant the world to see that."

Lauer was fired after a female colleague filed a detailed complaint against him. After his firing, two more NBC employees filed sexual misconduct claims against him with the company, and Variety and The New York Times published accounts alleging misconduct ranging from harassment to assault against Lauer from multiple women.