Amid her co-host, Hoda Ktob’s, unexplained absence, viewers of the popular breakfast show were also left wondering why Savannah Guthrie left Today mid-way through a live broadcast on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. It comes as Ktob has been missing in action for more than a week.
Guthrie is a seasoned broadcast journalist and attorney. She joined NBC News in 2007 as a legal analyst and correspondent and, after serving as a White House correspondent from 2008 to 2011, she moved to co-anchor the MSNBC show The Daily Rundown in 2010 and 2011. She was announced as the co-host of Today’s third hour alongside Natalie Morales and Al Roker, then succeeded Matt Lauer as host alongside Kotb in November 2017 after Lauer was accused of sexual misconduct.
Guthrie has garnered industry acclaim since her debut on-air in September 2007. She was included in Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2018 alongside Kotb and has been widely praised for her tactics in interviewing former President Donald Trump. Here’s everything we know about Savannah Guthrie’s secret exit during a commercial break.
Why did Savannah Guthrie leave the Today Show? Guthrie left Today at around 7.30 am on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, and co-host Sheinelle Jones gave viewers an update at the start of the show’s 8 am hour. “It has been an interesting morning for us,” she said. “Savannah left early. She wasn’t feeling great, so she took a COVID test. It came back positive, so, of course, as soon as we found out, she rushed home to rest up. So, Savannah, we love you. Wishing you a speedy recovery.” It comes as her co-host, Hoda Kotb, hasn’t been seen live on-air since February 17, 2023, with her final episode—a pre-recording for the Presidents Day holiday—aired on February 20, 2023.
Guthrie has tested positive for the virus twice before—once in May 2022 and for the first time in January 2022. It led her to call into the Today show from home isolation. “I feel great. Honestly, I’m going to be back tomorrow. I just had a little cold, so I was really lucky with it,” she said on-air during her second stint. “Having five days by myself — can you even imagine? I’ve really gotten to know myself,” she said. “I’ve discovered not just Wordle, but also Quordle,” which she described as “four Wordles at once.”
Why is Hoda Kotb not on the Today Show this week and where is she? After more than a week of silence from the network, fill-in hosts Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones explained she’s spending time with family. “We mentioned that Savannah and Hoda are both off. Savannah, she’s home after a positive COVID test yesterday. We are wishing our friend a speedy recovery,” he said. “And as for Hoda, we know a lot of you have been wondering how she’s doing. We can tell you that Hoda’s okay. She’s got a family health matter that she’s been dealing with, so we look forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back at the desk real, real soon.” Today weatherman Al Roker added.”We love you both.”
Since her absence, there have been multiple posts to Kotb’s Instagram feed with inspirational messages. Since Wednesday, February 28, the beloved newscaster has been sharing daily proverbs, such as, “One day you will see how brave you have been,” and “Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts.” The most recent one, published on February 27, simply reads: “Choose hope”. In the comments section, fans expressed their concern, and support, for Hoda. “Find it difficult to watch with you not being there,” wrote one. “Ok. Seriously…what is going on with you? I know you have a right to privacy, but your truest fans have noticed your absence and these posts…worried about you,” another wrote.
In an interview with MediaBistro, Kotb explained how she endured 27 rejections before landing her first on-air gig for a CBS affiliate in Greenville, Miss. in 1988. “I started off just wanting to do it because I liked the live element. I always thought newspapers were yesterday, and I like the current. I wasn’t one of those people who thought, ‘I’m going to be at the network by the time I’m 30.’ I just lived where I lived, took the next step, and moved on,” she said. “I’m not important enough to have my own motto. [Laughs] ‘You can’t scare me’ has sort of become my mantra. I think that’s it.”
At 43, in 2007, Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer despite no family history. She had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and has since become a passionate advocate for breast cancer survivors and research. “My best years of my life were all post-cancer,” she said on Today in October 2022. “All the best years happened after that. That was not the end by any stretch. That was the beginning.”
For more about Hoda Kotb, you have to read her memoir Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. As the synopsis goes: “She’s just like the rest of us: overstuffed purse, always losing keys, high-maintenance hair, snack guilt after an evening binge. But she’s something different, too. Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures—one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She’s traveled the globe for network television, smuggling videotapes in her shoes and stepping along roads riddled with land mines. She’s weathered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and a personal Category 5 as well: divorce and breast cancer in the same year. And if that’s not scary enough, she then began cohosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford.”
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