‘Today Show’s’ Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Try to Keep Their Emotions in Check While Reporting on the Coronavirus
Several Today Show anchors are still reporting from home to adhere to the current quarantine guidelines being implemented throughout the country, with Hoda Kotb manning the news desk on her own most of the time. With co-anchor Savannah Guthrie broadcasting from her basement to limit her trips into New York City, the Today pair is once again reporting from separate locations.
Guthrie and Kotb recently spoke on how they are trying to bring the news to viewers each day while attempting to keep their own emotions under control, with Kotb referencing the tearful conclusion of her interview with Drew Brees.
A breakdown after Brees interview
In a recent interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Kotb spoke with the NFL player about his generous $5 million donation to Louisiana coronavirus relief. As the interview concluded, the journalist was overcome with emotion where she literally couldn’t speak through her tears.
“I think everybody has their breaking point somewhere,” Kotb told Entertainment Tonight of that specific day. “Sometimes you have it in the bathroom at home or you have it in the car and your kids are inside. I mean, mine probably was at the least appropriate place it could have been but I think there was something about his kindness and generosity in that moment.”
Kotb described what moved her to tears at the end of the interview. “I think when he said, like, as a big, strong football player, when I said, ‘I love you, Drew,’ — ’cause I just say that usually — and he said, ‘I love you,'” the Today star shared. “Something about all of it just kind of came together and I feel like we’re all on the edge. And I think we all need to pick a place. I wish it hadn’t been this place, but I think we all need to have a place where we can all let the dam break wherever that place happens to be.”
The NBC anchor shared that Brees’ unselfish gesture gave her hope during such a dark time. “I don’t cry for cruelty, I cry for kindness,” Kotb told the New York Post. “There was something in this moment, his incredible generosity, that got to me. It reminded me there are so many amazing, beautiful people out there.”
‘Today’ adjusts to their new setup
With Dylan Dreyer on maternity leave, Carson Daly on paternity leave, Sheinelle Jones on medical leave, and Guthrie and Al Roker reporting remotely, Kotb is one of few people live in Studio 1A to report for the morning news program.
“The Today Show is normally teeming with people. Even when I arrive there are people outside 30 Rock waiting for the show to start — they’ve made trips to come see us,” Kotb commented, noting the stark difference in staff numbers. “But [now] there’s literally not a soul outside. I go into the studio and you can hear your footsteps echoing [because] there’s no one there.”
Not only is there a shortage of anchors in the studio, but there are currently no stylists or makeup artists. Hence, both hosts have to wear their own clothes and get on-air ready by doing their own hair and makeup.
“I do my hair with, like, a curling iron from the ’80s and really don’t lay eyes on anyone until Savannah pops up on the monitor,” Kotb revealed.
‘Today’ co-hosts are trying to ‘keep it together’
Guthrie and Kotb have been reporting on COVID-19 and its impact since the crisis started and admit that even as seasoned journalists, plowing through the sobering information on a daily basis is a challenge.
“There have been many surreal moments,” Guthrie told the New York Post.
“Seeing Times Square empty, a makeshift hospital in Central Park… A lot of these moments are just beyond comprehension.”
“There are a lot of scary things out there and you have to keep it together because we’re giving out important information,” Kotb added. “And then, in all of that, we’re trying to hold your hand as we go through it.”
Guthrie takes her responsibility to give viewers the information they need during this tumultuous time very seriously, fully committed to bringing the most accurate and up-to-date news to the country.
“I try really hard to count my blessings and recognize how lucky I am to have a job and that my family is safe,” she said. “I really worry for our country, for people’s health and their livelihoods. I wake up and feel the weight of responsibility at a time when the country is in crisis, I try to think that I’m on the side of information, so that our viewers have the best possible information.”
Even though they’re not sitting side by side, Kotb and Guthrie are a stellar team in today’s news industry.