News of sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer rocked the nation last month, as viewers and fellow TODAY Show hosts alike processed the accusations against their once well-respected colleague.
While Tuesday’s announcement of Hoda Kotb’s promotion to TODAY’s co-anchor has been met warmly with praise, the big news has certainly brought back some painful memories for Lauer’s former co-workers.
Filling Lauer’s spot is filled with mix emotions for Kotb, who recently opened up about the events preceding the announcement of his termination in a PEOPLE exclusive.
Just minutes before going on air, Kotb knew there was only one place she could turn to for guidance: God. She says she walked into co-host Savannah Guthrie’s dressing room, and “we said a prayer.”
“I won’t forget it. I said to Savannah after that prayer, ‘We’re gonna make it through this together,’” added Kotb. “We just sort of sat there and I was sort of on autopilot, I don’t really remember a lot of it, but I do remember just sort of holding onto Savannah and saying it just wasn’t in our hands anymore, it was in God’s hands.”
Kotb continued that she feels a “responsibility” to their “incredible staff” as the TODAY crew moves forward with adjusting to changes.
“I just am trying to get comfortable with how complicated the feelings around all of it are, and it is complicated,” added co-host Guthrie. “And just trying to have love and compassion for everyone concerned.”
“We ask how they’re doing, we want them to feel good, we give them hugs,” Kotb told People. “Just so they remember this is bigger than one person, it’s bigger than Matt, it’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than Savannah, it’s bigger than all of us. So I think Savannah said it right, we just shore up, we get together and we get stronger.”