TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb cemented their place in history Thursday night when they were inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.
The pair, who officially began working as co-anchors on TODAY in 2018, shared words of wisdom in speeches that reflected their experience.
“We need to know our worth,” Hoda directed to the women in attendance. “And when I speak about not knowing your worth, I’m kind of speaking to myself, too. I’ve spent a lot of my career thinking I didn’t deserve all the things I got, even after I worked so hard. I didn’t think I deserve to work at ‘Dateline’ or sit with Kathie Lee, and certainly not the TODAY show.”
Hoda, who has daughters Haley, 5, and Hope, 3, then singled out Savannah for her encouragement.
“And I didn’t even know if I deserved to have a family of my own,” she said. “And then this cool friend of mine, this great friend of mine gave me some great advice. You might know her. She’s right there. Her name is Savannah Guthrie. She said this: If you have a wish, or if you have a hope, or if you have a dream, say it out loud.”
Hoda reminded people the importance of going after what you want, whether it’s for you or your loved ones.
“Ask for what you want. Ask for the raise, ask for the promotion, ask for the family,” she said. “Even if it’s just a whisper. I’m standing here and I am 57 years old. I have two daughters.
“And I get to sit with the incomparable Savannah Guthrie," she continued, while fighting back tears. "I am grateful to be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and this award is to all the women who felt not worthy you are worth it. And so am I.”
When Savannah, who celebrated a decade with TODAY last year, took the podium, she recalled her winding road in television, noting how she was 21 when she landed her first job in Butte, Montana, which didn’t last.
“I enthusiastically started my job at this tiny station with a newsroom staff of four, including me,” she said. “Right away, I was shooting and reporting and editing. I was doing it. I was Butte, Montana's Diane Sawyer, for 10 days. That is when the management called the meeting and closed the station. My TV career was over and I hadn’t even lasted two weeks. That was my big break. And it was gone."
Savannah says she was crushed and knew she had a long road ahead of her, with a lot of room for improvement.
"If you had told that girl lying on her bed, crying, humiliated and kind of too broke to even get home, that one day she’d be here in this company receiving this honor, well, all the old rusty mining equipment in Butte, Montana, could not have lifted her jaw off the floor. That girl had minimal talent, terrible hair, a fake, overly deep broadcasting voice.”
Savannah persevered and, of course, got another job, but she knows how tough the field can be.
“This is a funny business. It’s just like that. You’re soaring one minute, you are crushed the next,” she said. “It thrills you and it challenges you and sometimes it breaks your confidence and sometimes it breaks your heart. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
She also holds a special place in her heart for Hoda.
“To Hoda, especially, I would hold hands and close my eyes and go anywhere with you,” she said. “And I am so glad that here is where we are tonight.”