Hoda Kotb’s on-air absence finally explained by NBC

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After weeks of speculation, “Today” viewers now have at least some idea of where co-anchor Hoda Kotb is.

On the Wednesday, March 1, 2023, edition of the show, anchors Craig Melvin, Shenielle Jones and Al Roker appeared on-camera explaining that Kotb is “OK” and has been “dealing with a family health matter.”

The show did not elaborate on the nature of her matter. Networks often opt not to comment about personal issues regarding talent unless the person opts to make the matter public.

Meanwhile, Savannah Guthrie is still out after testing positive for COVID-19 in the middle of Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023’s show.

Her co-workers wished her a speedy recovery on March 1 when discussing Kotb’s status.

It’s not clear how long either of the anchors will be out; Guthrie will likely need to be gone for at least a few days depending on her symptoms and NBC policies. The length of Kotb’s absence will likely depend on what the nature of her family matter is.

Kotb was last seen on Feb. 20, 2023’s edition of “Today with Hoda and Jenna,” which she also co-anchors alongside Jenna Bush Hager. That show is separate from the first three hours of “Today.”

That edition, however, aired on President’s Day and was taped Feb. 17, 2023, the same day Kotb was last on air live.

“Today” has been the subject of numerous unconfirmed reports about talent in recent months, including claims that Kotb and Guthrie were not getting along backstage. Another report suggested that Guthrie could leave “Today” for “Meet the Press,” though none of those claims were confirmed by NBC.

There was also speculation that Kotb was involved in some type of dispute with NBC, but that, again, was not confirmed.

The network has been quietly making Melvin more of a figure on “Today.” He is essentially the show’s de factor third co-anchor.

He is not featured in the show open, but typically joins the anchor desk after the first break in a three-shot.

The three-anchor format is similar to what competitors “Good Morning America” and “CBS Mornings” use.