Is Hoda Kotb An Emergency ‘Today’ Olympics Replacement? In A Word: No

By Alex Weprin 

The New York Daily News splashed NBC “Today” anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on its front page this morning, featuring a story about the pair prominently on page three. The story claims that NBC was not pleased with Guthrie’s performance last week on “Today,” and is flying in Kotb to help bolster the show as a result. It also claims that the decision to send Kotb was made last Thursday, and that she was supposed to be on vacation this week.

But “they’re just shoehorning her into the show to help bring it alive,” the source added. “They called Hoda on Thursday begging her to go to London because they said it wasn’t working like they thought.”

There is just one little problem with the story: Kotb was always supposed to be contributing to NBC’s Olympics coverage in London. Kotb and her fourth-hour co-host Kathie Lee Gifford even talked the upcoming trip on “Today” almost two weeks ago. You can watch the video below.

Update: An NBC News spokesperson tells me:

“It is well-known that Hoda was traveling to London to participate in the TODAY show’s Olympic coverage because we announced it on our show three weeks ago. She planned to spend a few days in London covering fun Olympic stories, and she talked about it on the show several times. In fact, we started a well-publicized Facebook campaign on July 9 asking viewers for suggestions on what types of stories she should do at the Games.  Hoda will be in London through this Thursday.”

As references, on July 9, Facebook fans of the fourth hour could vote on what Kotb should do when she goes to the Olympics.

They announced the contest–and the fact that Kotb would be going–on July 10. Video of that is after the jump: