Hoda Kotb inks new contract with NBC News to stay with “Today”

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Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. ()
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Alex Weprin

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NBC News has signed anchor Hoda Kotb to a new, multi-year contract, Capital has learned.

The deal will ensure that Kotb remains as the co-host of the fourth hour of “Today,” alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. She will also continue to contribute to other NBC News programs, including at her former TV home, “Dateline.”

“Hoda was approached by other networks, shows and syndicators, and after serious consideration, she realized nothing was better than drinking with Kathie Lee Gifford at 10 am on the “Today” show,” a source familiar with the situation told Capital.

Kotb was hotly pursued by ABC earlier this year, with the network promising her a high-profile gig on daytime talk stalwart “The View,” as well as a role with ABC News. While we hear the ABC offer was “compelling,” Kotb’s current home apparently offered the better deal.

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ABC pursued Kotb so heavily because “The View” is undergoing a major retooling. After adding Jenny McCarthy this season, the program has been looking for another permanent cast member to join its roundtable. In addition, Barbara Walters will step aside from her on-air role on the program next May, leaving some very large shoes to fill next year. 

Kotb has been a staple on NBC News programming since 1998, when she joined “Dateline” as a correspondent. She was named co-host of “Today”’s fourth hour when it launched in 2007 and was also one of the final candidates to replace Ann Curry as the co-anchor of “Today” alongside Matt Lauer. That job ended up going to Savannah Guthrie.

Over the last five years Kotb and Gifford have developed an on-air repartee built around their honest and frank discussions of the news and their personal lives, helped along by a glass of wine or two. The pair recently secured a deal to write a column in the Daily News.

In the ratings, the fourth hour of "Today" has held its own against stiff syndicated competition, including “The View” and CBS’ “The Talk.”

 

Capital New York is launching a subscription news service in early 2014. For more information and to get complimentary access, please contact Lauren Englander at lenglander@capitalnewyork.com.