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Jenna Bush Hager missing from Today - replaced by beloved news anchor

Still a familiar face!

jenna bush hager today hoda kotb absence meredith vieira
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
June 23, 2022
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Since her arrival in 2019, Jenna Bush Hager has become a friendly and familiar face fans can look forward to every weekday morning on the Today Show.

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager reveals unexpected family story involving daughter and famous parents

However, a different – although still quite familiar – face took over her spot Thursday morning, and fans have lots of opinions about the replacement.

Hoda Kotb revealed that her usual co-host is unfortunately "on assignment," but she had just as close of a friend right next to her hosting 3rd Hour, none other than former The View host Meredith Vieira.

WATCH: Jenna's rise to fame

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Her and Hoda's friendship goes back several years, as they both came up in broadcasting at similar times, and she even co-hosted Today for several years. Upon revealing that she was taking over Jenna's spot while she was away, Hoda couldn't help but sing her praises and reminisce over their time on the show together.

"This is your house," the star firmly stated, before repeating: "This is the house that you helped build over the years."

She even went so far as to admit: "Whenever someone asks me who in broadcasting I admire most, I always say you, and I'll tell you why I always say you…"

hoda kotb meredith vieira today© Photo: Getty Images

Meredith and Hoda go way back!

The mom-of-two endearingly explained: "When you started out in the business, you played by your own rules, you were one of the first women at 60 Minutes and they were grinding at that point, especially the women in that group."

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She commended Meredith for making the difficult decision to leave the long-running program in order to focus on her family, saying: "And you did what was right for you. You told Don Hewitt that this might not be working for me," and she couldn't help but imagine how intimidating that must have been.

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The stars' hosting chemistry was like they had never parted

The two went on to open up about how difficult it was to be a woman in journalism when they were starting out their careers, with Hoda expressing: "To be a woman in our industry, at that moment that was big."

Though they surely missed Jenna, fans loved seeing Meredith back on studio 1A, and writing: "That is an amazing duo," and: "Meredith was great this AM - please have her back soon - whenever you need a co-host," as well as: "Miss having her in the show daily."

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