Willie Geist Raves About Hoda Kotb's 'Today' Promotion, Says He's Been In Touch With Matt Lauer (Exclusive)
By Rachel McRady
Happy for Hoda! On Tuesday night, ET’s Lauren Zima spoke with the Today show’s Willie Geist about the NBC morning show’s recent shakeup, placing Hoda Kotb as a co-anchor alongside Savannah Guthrie.
“They’re both my honest-to-goodness friends. I’m so happy for Hoda,” Geist told ET at the National Board of Review Awards, which he hosted. “They’re kickin’ butt. They won the week again last week. I think they’ve won every week since they’ve started. You can’t not be happy for Hoda. She’s such a genuine, loving, feeling, energetic person. She deserves it, and it’s good for everybody.”
And though many thought he might be a top contender for the spot, Geist seems happy where he is.
“I do my Sunday Today show. I do Morning Joe, which I love, during the week, so I get into the politics of it all,” he said. “And I’m there all week this week with the gang, so I’m not too far.”
As for his former co-star, Matt Lauer, who was fired late last year for inappropriate sexual behavior, Geist revealed that he has stayed in touch.
“I've texted with him just on a personal level,” he said. “It was his birthday the other day, his 60th birthday.”
Adding that Lauer is “as good as he can be,” Geist noted, “He’s sort of reconnecting with his family and figuring everything out.”
ET spoke with Kotb and Guthrie shortly after Today made the announcement of their new partnership. Watch the clip below for the exclusive interview!