Hoda Kotb kept a big secret over the last few days. This morning’s (Jan. 2) usual introduction of the “Today” show had a different ring, as Hoda Kotb heard her name officially announced as the morning co-anchor alongside Savannah Guthrie. The good news was celebrated again during the show's fourth hour, with her best gal pal, Kathie Lee Gifford, also taking credit for keeping a big secret, especially for someone with “the biggest mouth,” as she teased her friend between tears and hugs.

From the Miss America organization to Hollywood and onto news anchor desks, female empowerment is making a statement in this evolution of desperately needed change sparked through the #MeToo movement.

Hoda Kotb has earned her seat at the “Today” lead anchor desk, with 20 years of doing almost every kind of duty assigned to the job that began as being a “Dateline” co-host. NBC deserves credit for recognizing the talent already in their news and current culture arsenal, and Savannah Guthrie is certainly on board. She gushed that “This has to be the most popular decision NBC has ever made,” in welcoming her new morning company. It's about time that the seasoned ladies who know their way around all sides, and hours, of the news desk, be given the chance to thrive at the top.

Praise pouring in

Hoda Kotb teased that medics should be en route to her mother's home in Virginia after the initial run of the January 2 lead in of “Today.” Savannah Guthrie went just a tad over the top with the show’s tradition of playing the announcement of a new anchor’s name “one more time,” giving Hoda’s name three playbacks.

Brushing away a few tears, Hoda marveled how her Egyptian name was “pronounced right and everything!”

Besides the greetings and joy from Jenna Bush Hager and Al Roker flowing into the stream of well-wishers, some heady hard news veterans like Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell, and Lester Holt seemed pleased as punch. Brokaw deemed the transition “historic and so deserved” and pushed “parity for women.” Powerful friends like Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling had glowing words, too.

Keeping the morning chemistry

Kathie Lee Gifford wasn’t the only one keeping bestie Hoda Kotb’s big news mum. A People magazine cover with Savannah Guthrie had already been shot, and the magazine feature story is out today.

In case anyone is wondering how their day can survive without the banter and big wineglasses shared between Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, rest easy. Kotb will be keeping her seat next to Kathie on the fourth “Today” hour.

That role will probably be a respite for Hoda after two hours of headlines and news assignments. This has been a huge year of life-changing transition for Hoda Kotb. She became an adoptive mom to daughter, Haley Joy, just after Christmas last year, and then returned to “Today” in April, following maternity leave. She holds her place as a mother above any promotion, describing hearing her baby’s sweet sigh on her shoulder as “the best reward” of her busy weekend after returning from the Rose Bowl parade.

In October, she earned Mother of the Year recognition from the American Cancer Society.

Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't have little ones at home, but she is keeping her heart for children. She is writing a sequel to her 2004 family-friendly musical, “Under the Bridge.” She flew in especially to be part of Hoda’s good news today. She will spend most of January at work on the new project, and be back riding shotgun with Kotb in February.

Congratulations to Hoda Kotb in making her own unique imprint within her own “crack” in the glass ceiling of major news at NBC. Life can begin again after 50.