Back on the air — sort of. Hoda Kotb made a pre-recorded appearance on the Friday, March 3 episode Today amid her prolonged absence from the live show.
The 58-year-old journalist hosted a pre-recorded segment featuring interviews with the husband of the late Olivia Newton-John, John Easterlingand her daughter, Chloe Latanziwhom The cell actress shared with the ex Matt Latanzi. Before the broadcast of the clip, the host Shanelle Jones noted that Kotb “recently” spoke with Grease the star family.
When the episode began, Jones, 44, and coach Craig Melvin told viewers that Kotb and Savannah Guthrie they were both “out” for the day. Guthrie, 51, left Today early Tuesday, February 28, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Melvin, 43, later assured fans that both Guthrie and Kotb “will be back with us soon.”
Prior to Friday’s segment, Kotb had not appeared on the show since Feb. 20, when she participated in a pre-taped segment with a co-host Jenna Bush Hager. During the Monday, February 27 episode, Guthrie told viewers that her co-star was just “not working today.”
Two days later, Melvin confirmed that the Oklahoma native was away from the show, dealing with a personal issue.
“We mentioned that Savannah and Hoda are out. Savannah, she is home after testing positive for COVID yesterday. We wish our friend a speedy recovery,” the NBC reporter explained on Wednesday, March 1. “And as for Hoda, we know many of you have been wondering how she is doing. We can tell you that Hoda is fine. She has a family health issue she’s dealing with, so we’re looking forward to seeing Hoda and Savannah back on the desk really, really soon.”
Today forecaster’s show Al Roker added: “We love you both.”
Later in the episode, Bush Hager, 41, gave fans a similar update on Kotb’s whereabouts. “Willie [Geist] is in for Hoda,” the Sisters first explained the co-author. “And we just want to let you know that we heard you and Hoda is fine. She just has a family health issue she’s dealing with.
The Texas native added that she and her Today colleagues hope the children’s book author will be back on the air in the near future. “We adore her, we send our love to her, and she will be back, right here, very, very soon,” Bush Hager told viewers.
Geist, 47, added: “I can’t wait to see her back here. We love you so much, Hoda.
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Kotb, for her part, has not publicly commented on her absence from Today, just sharing a cryptic Instagram post on Monday that read: “Choose hope.”