Hoda Kotb Causes Concern as She Leaves 'Today' Show Early

TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb on Thursday, February 29, 2024 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)

Hoda Kotb’s early departure from the Today show on Wednesday, March 27, left some fans concerned as fill-in anchor Willie Geist stepped up to take her place.

Kotb, 59, appeared on the NBC daytime talk show early in the day but had left by the time Today with Hoda & Jenna, the show she co-hosts with Jenna Bush Hager, began. Geist, who anchors his own NBC Sunday show Sunday Today with Willie Geist, is occasionally called upon to fill in on Today when other anchors are temporarily unavailable, as he did on Wednesday.

Geist, 48, and Hager, 42, proceeded with the show as usual, conducting celebrity interviews and chatting casually about which acting roles Hager believed Geist could pull off following his recent cameo on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Neither co-host addressed where Kotb was or why she wasn’t in the studio, according to Us Weekly.

Related: Hoda Kotb Reveals the Surprising Celebrity Who Inspired Her Journey to Motherhood

Some fans appeared concerned that Kotb was missing from the show without any explanation.

“Where’s Hoda ??” one person tweeted in response to a clip of Today with Hoda & Jenna that the show shared on X. Others who responded to additional clips from the March 27 show said they “never” watch the show when Kotb isn’t part of it.

“Had to turn it off,” one Instagram user said.

Other fans appeared pleased that Geist was filling in. Several wrote on Instagram that they “love” seeing Geist, and one person on X tweeted emojis to applaud the “bonus Geist” on Wednesday’s show.

Despite her absence from the show, Kotb remained active on social media. She promoted the latest episode of her podcast Making Space, which featured an interview with bestselling author Arthur Brooks. The Today show’s official Instagram account, as well as that of Today with Hoda & Jenna, also promoted Kotb’s podcast episode, which was released on March 27.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kotb also shared on Instagram an Albert Einstein quotation, which read, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

“Ohh I love this one xo,” Kotb wrote of the quote. She then asked fans to weigh in with their thoughts about Einstein’s statement. “Which do you believe.. you get to choose…. Isn’t that fantastic? You get to choose… you decide. I will always choose friendly… goodness is all around.”

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