Hoda Kotb opened the third hour of Monday’s Today broadcast by addressing the “new chapter” that is unfolding after Kelly’s departure.
“Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our show as it evolves,” Kotb said, flanked by Craig Melvin and Al Roker. “We want you to know that the entire Today family will continue to bring you informative and important stories, just as we always have.”
According to our sister site Variety, Kotb, Melvin, Roker and Savannah Guthrie (who was away on assignment Monday) are expected to lead Today‘s 9 am hour for the foreseeable future. However, on Monday’s broadcast, Today correspondent Jenna Bush Hager took over hosting duties for the third hour after approximately 20 minutes, which could indicate that she will become a permanent replacement for Kelly down the road.
Kelly, of course, was let go from Today on Oct. 26, just days after making inappropriate remarks about blackface during a roundtable discussion of Halloween costumes on her 9 am hour. Despite multiple apologies for the comments, Kelly was fired from the morning program and is currently negotiating her exit from NBC altogether.