▪ Hoda Kotb was official Hoda Kotb was officially named a coanchor of Today, replacing disgraced former host Matt Lauer—marking the first time the NBC show has ever been led by two female hosts. Kotb, 53, had been filling in for Lauer since he was ousted in November amid multiple sexual harassment and abuse allegations. She will join Savannah Guthrie during the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of the show, even as she carries on hosting the 10 a.m. segment with Kathie Lee Gifford. Kotb said she was “pinching herself” over getting the coveted co-anchor position—and had even received a “sweet” congratulatory text from Lauer. “That meant a lot, that meant the world,” Kotb said. She will reportedly be paid $7 million a year—$18 million less than Lauer.
▪ Carrie Underwood has revealed that a mid-November fall at her Nashville home was far more serious than first acknowledged, requiring nearly 50 stitches in her face that have left her “not quite looking the same.” The country music singer, 34, originally said she had suffered a broken wrist and cuts after she tripped and fell down the stairs outside her house. But in an update to fans, Underwood revealed she had suffered “gruesome” injuries to her face—and that those injuries have not fully healed. “When I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different,” Underwood wrote.
▪ The Palin family had an eventful holiday season, to say the least. Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter, Willow, announced her engagement over Christmas, days after her brother, Track, was arrested following a violent confrontation with their father, Todd. Track, 28, allegedly broke into his parents’ Alaskan family home following a disagreement over a truck, in order to “beat [Todd’s] ass,” according to the police report. Finding his father holding a pistol, Track allegedly disarmed him and repeatedly hit him in the head, leaving the elder Palin with “blood running down his face.” Track has been charged with assault and burglary. Authorities released the Iraq War veteran on $5,000 bail, but imposed orders of protection directing him to stay away from the Palin family and his two ex-wives.