The new Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night, and brought up an amusing tale from her local news days.
After struggling mightily to find on-air work after college graduation, Kotb finally found a job at WXVT, the CBS affiliate in Greenville, Mississippi. (It’s now a low-powered station.)
One night, she had to fill in for the station’s lead news anchor at the time, Ann Martin, who she described as a legend at the station.
Kotb, a reporter at the time, had never anchored before and was quite nervous.
“I still remember the prompter: ‘Good evening. I’m Hoda Kotb, Ann Martin is off.’ I remember being so nervous, and the guy cued me…I looked at the prompter and said: ‘Good evening. I’m Ann Martin, filling in for Hoda Kotb.'”
The story elicited laughs from the audience, from her colleague Savannah Guthrie, and of course from Fallon.
Kotb later moved to WWL-TV in New Orleans, anchoring there from 1992-1998, before arriving at NBC News.
This tale proves that even TV newsers who make it to the highest level of their profession make mistakes early on, and have persevered.
Fast forward to 2:35 to hear the tale: