Weeks after Matt Lauer was unceremoniously fired from the Today Show following allegations of sexual misconduct, NBC News has announced his replacement.

Hoda Kotb, who has filled in for Lauer since the day the shamed anchor was let go, has been appointed as co-anchor of the Today show with Savannah Guthrie.

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said in a statement that Kotb had "seamlessly stepped" into the position.

"They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today," he explained. "Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances. It's a tribute to her wide range and her innate curiosity."

Summing up the news, Guthrie told viewers on Tuesday (2 January): "This has to be the most popular decision that NBC News has ever made."

A clearly emotional Kotb responded saying, "I'm pinching myself. I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mum has likely fainted after hearing the opening of that show."

Who is Hoda Kotb?

The 53-year-old second-generation Egyptian is a firm favourite with NBC News viewers, having joined the network in 1998 as a correspondent for Dateline. However, she got her start as a reporter in New Orleans and also served as a correspondent in Egypt for CBS.

In 2008, she started co-hosting the fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford. She will continue in that role.

The mother of one is also a best-selling author. Her books include Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives and Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Made.

Her personal struggles include a battle with breast cancer in 2007. She beat the disease and was declared cancer-free after undergoing a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Kotb's first duty as Lauer's stand-in was to announce his departure to millions of viewers. "That morning was so hard, but Hoda and I were in it together," Guthrie said. "We are family, and families do go through hard times, and when that happens in good families, you just get closer."

After a massive backlash on social media, Lauer issued a public statement apologising for his "words and actions" during his time at NBC.