By Brian Stelter

NEW YORK (CNN) – Hoda Kotb, who has been filling in on NBC’s “Today” show since Matt Lauer was fired in November, is now officially replacing him.

The promotion means that Kotb and Savannah Guthrie will co-host the famed morning show.

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“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made,” Guthrie said while celebrating the news on Tuesday’s “Today.”

“There’s no one I’d rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you,” Kotb said.

The pairing of two women is a departure from the typical man-and-woman morning show format.

But it’s a logical move for NBC, especially in the wake of Lauer’s abrupt exit amid complaints about inappropriate sexual behavior at work.

Kotb is an NBC News veteran who joined the network in 1998. She has been co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour of “Today,” a freewheeling talk show with Kathie Lee Gifford, since 2008.

NBC said Kotb will continue co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour while adding the 7 and 8 a.m. hours to her portfolio.

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Megyn Kelly became the host of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” last September.

NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Kotb’s promotion in a Tuesday morning memo.

“Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running. They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today,'” Lack wrote.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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