Hoda Kotb marks end of an era with heartfelt message to her best friend

The Today star is such a good friend

Hoda Kotb is known for her loyalty and has a close-knit circle of friends, both in the public eye and out of the spotlight.

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And this week, the kind-hearted star shone a light on her best friend, Karen Swensen, as she marked an end of an era.

Karen retired on Wednesday and on her last day at work, Hoda shared a series of photos of her from over the year, alongside a heartfelt message.

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She wrote: "Wow @karenswensen. Remember when you started at wwl (left)... cannot believe you are retiring.. your last day today… receive your love. Here's to the next chapter @lifesaboutchange."

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Fans were quick to comment on the post, with one writing: "Karen will be missed!" while another wrote: "Will certainly miss you, enjoy your retirement." A third added: "Class act that will surely be missed."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb)

Today's Hoda Kotb paid tribute to her best friend following her retirement at WWL-TV

Karen worked as an anchor on WWL-TV, a CBS affiliate in New Orleans, and received a special send-off on her very last day of the show.

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The journalist posted a tribute message on her own Instagram account after her last show, alongside pictures of her in the studio with her colleagues.

She wrote: "Thank you @wwltv Morning Show for the sweetest send-off. Love you…. @ericpaulsen4 @shebaturk @aprildupre_ @paytoncmalone @lesliespoon #lastday #bestfriends #ericwasmyfirstboss #solong #notmoving @lifesaboutchange!!!"

Hoda and Karen have been friends for decades

Hoda and Karen have been friends for decades, having first met in 1994 while working at WWL-TV. They are such good friends, that Hoda even named her second daughter, Hope Catherine Kotb, after Karen and her late husband John's daughter.

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In April 2019 shortly after bringing Hope home, Hoda opened up about the significance of her daughter's moniker on an episode of Today.

Hoda even named daughter Hope Catherine after Karen's daughter

She said: "We had already thought of a name, Joel [Schiffman] and I had, and 'hope' is in my journal about 10 million times when I was writing for her," she explained.

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"Catherine is my best friend's daughter's name. It just so happens this weekend when [Hope] was born, it was also John's birthday, my best friend's husband who passed, and they said that they promised him that they would come to New York and go to Yankee Stadium to a baseball game for him on his birthday in heaven.

"And so it was a very emotional time for all of us and I said to Catherine, 'You're the strongest kid I know.' So I wanted to name her after Catherine."

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