NBC made the big announcement this morning. Former New Orleans news anchor Hoda Kotb will replace Matt Lauer on the TODAY show in a permanent role. The news was hardly a surprise as Kotb has sat alongside co-anchor Savannah Guthrie since the day Lauer was fired for sexual misconduct in the workplace. The photo above was taken on the day the news broke that Matt Lauer was out. People inside studio 1A on that day have described it as emotional and surreal. The move to add Kotb is unprecedented for the TODAY show that has never had two women serve as co-anchor of its marquee broadcast.

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Savannah Guthrie and Kotb sat down with People magazine to talk about the big news before it broke this morning:

Kotb has been with NBC since 1998 when she joined the network as a correspondent for Dateline NBC. That was 20 years ago this year. Before that, she was an anchor at the legendary New Orleans station WWL television. Thanks to YouTube, we can see throwback footage from those days anchoring with broadcasting legend Dennis Woltering.

NBC News said, for the time being, Kotb will still co-host the 10AM hour with Kathie-Lee Gifford.