Hoda Kotb Shares Emotional Goodbye with ‘Today’ Costar

by Samantha Whidden

On Monday (August 23rd), Today co-host Hoda Kotb brought tears to everyone on the set of the NBC morning show when she shared an emotional goodbye to one of the show’s executive producers.

During her segment, Kotb declares, “Alright so we’re a little bumming today. We’re going to be totally honest, [it’s] because our beloved executive producer, Joanne LaMarca, is leaving us to spend time with her family, her husband Tyler, her son Mack. We love our Jo Jo.”

Hoda Kotb’s co-star Jenna Bush also chimes in by sharing, “JoAnne is the heart and soul of our show. We had to get her to come over here. She did not know this was happening. Jo Jo we love you.”

Kotb and Bush then reveal a special surprise to LaMarca. A special guest appearance by Trace Atkins, who is one of LaMarca’s all-time favorite singers. He performs a little bit of his hit single, “You’re Gonna Miss This,” leaving everyone on the studio set in tears. 

Hoda Kotb Shares Details About How She Made It to the ‘Today’ Show 

During a 2020 interview with Glamour, Hoda Kotb recalled the struggles she experienced before making it to the NBC morning news show, Today. “When I was looking for a job initially, I got so many rejections. I didn’t stop to question why so many news directors didn’t think I was good enough. But there were lots of them.”

Kotb then admitted there were nearly 30 rejections where someone stated she was just not good. “I just kept going until someone hired me – that [it only takes one ‘yes’] philosophy worked for me. It just reminded me, you only need one person who thinks you’re good enough.”

While also sharing how she learned to have challenging conversations, Kotb stated. “‘It’s hard to hate up close.’ That quote probably resonates the most for me during this time. The more you know about someone – not just their political views, but that they have children, or sick loved ones, you start to learn how they are – it’s hard to hate.”

Kotb further opened up about her friend’s climate advice. “If you’re in a conversation and it’s difficult, or if you’re trying to get somebody to open up to you, try these three words: Tell me more.”

In regards to how she handles criticism, Hoda Kotb just rolls with it all. “It’s not like I’m immune to criticism. If I say something that hurts someone’s feelings, that’ll kill me. But in terms of ‘Your hair’s a mess, why don’t you color your roots?’ That’s just Wednesday. And actually, I do need to color my roots.”

Kotb then goes on to add that she’s not exactly up to date on fashion. “There are people who are much cooler than me. Who has a much cooler fashion sense than I’ll ever have. It’s not my thing. I’ve had people say to me, ‘Turn around, you look so much bigger on TV!’ I’m a big girl, I don’t care. That doesn’t hit me in my soul.”