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Today's Hoda Kotb bids bittersweet farewell to co-star as fans are left in tears

The Today star has been hosting the NBC daytime show since 2007

Hanna Fillingham

Hoda Kotb is one of the most popular TV hosts and has been hosting Today since 2007.

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The journalist is close friends with all her co-stars, both on screen and off camera, and so it was a bittersweet day on Friday when she and Jenna Bush Hager said goodbye to their executive producer.

Joanne LaMarca has been working on Today with Hoda & Jenna for years and was surprised by a performance from country star Trace Adkins on her final day.

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VIDEO: Today's Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie make big change to the show

The tribute left many viewers in tears, and fans took to Instagram to say their farewells after a special post was created in Joanne's honor. It read: "It's a bittersweet day as we say farewell to our beloved executive producer Joanne LaMarca, who is leaving to spend more time with her family.

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"But before she goes, country star @traceadkins has a special surprise performance just for her. Watch the emotional moment at the link in our bio.⁠"

Hoda Kotb's Today colleague left the NBC show last week

Fans were quick to react, with one writing: "I'm not crying you're crying! Omg what a perfect send off! You guys are so amazing for doing this for your sweet Executive Producer! She will for sure be missed!" while another wrote: "I don't even know Jo and I was crying! Best of luck." A third added: "Best of luck Joanne. This made me cry."

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The Today family often meet up out of work hours so no doubt Hoda and Jenna will stay in touch with Joanne.

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Hoda with her co-star Jenna Bush Hager

Hoda is often pictured out at the weekends with her co-stars, including Savannah Guthrie who has children close in age to hers, and Al Roker.

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In fact, Hoda is so close to Al that she described him as "part of our family" in a sweet birthday tribute post last week. The star shared a picture of herself with her mother and Al, who was holding a then-newborn Haley.

"Happy bday to the man who is part of our family. Love u @alroker," she wrote. Touched by her words, Al responded: "Smooches," while his wife Deborah Roberts responded with a series of love heart emojis.

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Hoda is engaged to Joel Schiffman

Hoda was one of the many Today stars who attended Al's daughter Courtney's wedding in June, and went along with her fiancé Joel Schiffman.

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The pair are due to tie the knot themselves in the near future, although they have had to postpone their big day on three occasions as a result of the pandemic.

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