Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie ‘Strengthened Their Connection’

Hoda Kotb couldn’t hold back her emotions. In March 2020, after interviewing football star Drew Brees about his decision to donate $5 million to Louisiana residents in need during the pandemic, the usually effervescent Today star broke down in tears. “I’m sorry,” she said as she struggled to regain her composure. Without hesitation, her cohost, Savannah Guthrie, stepped in, gently encouraging Hoda to “take a moment” and offering to read her next line.

In the years since Hoda joined Savannah on Today in 2018, the broadcasters have been relying on each other both on and off camera as they navigate high-pressure, high-profile careers and parenthood together (Hoda, 59, shares Haley, 7, and Hope, 5, with former fiancé Joel Schiffman; 52-year-old Savannah shares Vale, 9, and Charlie, 7, with husband Michael Feldman). “Hoda and Savannah had always gotten along great, but spending extra time together has really strengthened their connection,” says a source exclusively to Closer. “They’ve become very close.”

Savannah Backed Hoda for a Board Member Position

Behind the scenes, tension was at an all-time high when the Matt Lauer scandal broke in 2017 (the longtime anchor was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied). “It was such a challenging time for everyone,” says the source. Hoda was a lifeline for a distraught Savannah. “In that moment, it felt like I could drown if Hoda hadn’t reached down and grabbed my hand,” she later recalled. “I will always say she saved the show full stop.”

Todays Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Strengthened Their Connection 2
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From day one, Savannah knew Hoda was the right person for the job. “Savannah totally backed her. The scandal had left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, and they all agreed that having a woman on board was important, and a good way to right the wrongs of the previous regime,” explains the source, adding that the chemistry between Savannah and Hoda was obvious. (The duo will soon be heading to Paris to cover the Summer Olympics.) “You could tell right away. It was a no-brainer for the bosses to hire Hoda full-time.”

Savannah and Hoda Are Friends On-and-Off Screen

They’re as tight off-screen as they are when the cameras are rolling. “Hoda and Savannah enjoy lunches and dinners together when they have the time,” says the source. (They both have demanding schedules: Hoda wakes at 3 a.m. while Savannah gets up at 4 a.m. to film Today.) Motherhood has really bonded them. “They’ll give each other parenting advice and commiserate about being working moms and how tough that can be sometimes.”

In 2022, Hoda opened up about how they support each other, saying, “I have some nights where I really messed up [with my kids]. I come in the next morning [thinking], I feel terrible for what I did. What was I thinking? They went to bed crying. Then I talk to Savannah. She’ll say, ‘That was my Wednesday.’ It makes you feel less alone.”

Savannah was Hoda’s rock in the aftermath of her 2022 split from Joel. “She was there to offer advice, cheer her up and lift Hoda’s self-esteem when she really needed it,” the source says, noting that Savannah has been trying to fix Hoda up with a new guy in recent months. “Savannah’s been suggesting cute guys for Hoda to go on dates with, and Hoda’s totally taken her up on it. If they come with Savannah’s seal of approval, that’s good enough for Hoda.”

And for the record, the ladies pay no mind to reports of jealousy and fighting. “Hoda says the notion that Savannah’s some type of ice queen or that she throws her weight around is ridiculous,” the source says. “The rumors couldn’t be further from the truth. They laugh them off.”

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