Today Show

Win a Signed Copy of Hoda Kotb’s New Book!

January 15, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

Hoda Kotb is mostly known for her Today show antics with co-host Kathie Lee Gifford (check out their February cover story here!), her award-winning broadcast journalism, and her battle with breast cancer, all of which she wrote about in her memoir Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. Today she’s releasing her next book, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives, and this time she gets back to her news journalism roots by telling the amazing and inspiring stories of six others. Interested yet? Because we’re giving away three copies signed by Hoda and all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post to enter. Good luck! Only one entry per person, per email address.

Official Rules

Obsess Less About Germs

November 14, 2012 at 9:53 am , by

What is that nice stagehand doing to me, right, on the Today Show set—and why is a toilet there, you might ask?

Oh, the glamor of television! He was unzipping my dress to hook a microphone pack onto my bra so I could talk to Hoda and Kathie Lee about the Germs story in our November issue. We wanted to show some household items that may (or may not) carry germs that can make you sick. Thus, the toilet.

It’s cold and flu season, and you’ve got to protect yourself from those viruses. But do you need to obsessively clean every square inch of your home? No.

In fact, experts told us, while germs are everywhere, only about 1 percent of them are the bad kind that can make you sick—and many actually keep you healthy. Plus, even if you come in contact with bad bacteria or viruses, they won’t make you sick unless they get into your body. How do they do that? Mostly by your hands. So your first line of defense is to keep your hands out of your eyes, nose and mouth. And wash your hands often with good old plain soap and water. (The antibacterial kind may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bugs.)

Before we went on the air, Kathie Lee shared that she’s not a germophobe at all—and she seldom gets sick. Good for her! See our TV segment by clicking here. Some of the advice will surprise you!

And see all of our info and advice in “A Non-Neurotic Guide To Germs” in the November issue of Ladies’ Home Journal or by clicking here.


Let’s Go Green!

April 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm , by

I was on the Today Show this morning to talk about recycling, etc., as part of their “Green Week” series. (Check out the segment here.) Al Roker told me that he’d recently gotten a citation for putting the wrong kind of plastic in his recycling bin. It can be confusing! He also told me his grandmother always believed in using natural products for cleaning, such as lemon and vinegar. Grandma always did know best!

I learned a few eye-openers while working on this segment:

• Hand-washing your dishes isn’t so virtuous after all.
In fact, most people who hand-wash use about four times more water than a dishwasher! A standard Energy Star rated machine only uses about six gallons for the regular cycle. Don’t pre-wash or use the pre-rinse cycle. It’s unnecessary and a waste. Just scrape those dishes, fill it up and turn it on!

• You can’t recycle everything.
Used pizza boxes are a big no-no. They’re always stained with grease, and that grease can contaminate a whole batch of recycled cardboard. Most centers also don’t accept those hard plastic takeout containers. But you can reuse those for nails and other hardware in the garage. The hard plastic caps on water bottles are a different type of resin, and they can also pop off the bottles when they’re crushed, which can injure workers. Plastic grocery bags can get caught in the machinery at recycling plants, so return those to your local grocery store for recycling. And I always return my wire hangers to my local dry cleaner, who reuses them.

• Most water bottles are not recycled. In fact, I was horrified to learn that some 38 billion of them end up in landfills every year! Plus, so much energy is used to make the bottles, fill them and transport them—sometimes halfway across the world. Then it takes 20 seconds to glug down the water and toss it. Sometimes a bottle of water is the only thing that’s convenient. But try to save it for the recycling bin. It can be tough to break the bottled water habit. But in honor of Earth Day this week, I’m pledging to carry my stainless steel reusable water bottle, with filtered tap water, every single day. Want to join me? It’s one small way we can all make a difference for a cleaner world.

Photo copyright Alx,

You Heard It Here First: Meredith Vieira Likely to Leave Today

April 6, 2011 at 9:44 am , by

Last November, we talked to Meredith Vieira about the pressures of being a working mom in such a high profile job like anchoring the Today show. She hinted at leaving the show once her contract expired, and now that it’s coming close to that time, media outlets like The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter are speculating that her exit is coming.

“I’ll know when it’s time to go, and I’m not afraid to go,” she told us. “If I were to leave at the end of next year because it’s time for me, I wouldn’t jump into another show. I would look forward to not working, to traveling with Richard and carving out time for us. You’re always doing something, if you are curious. It doesn’t have to be a 9-to-5 job.”

Richard Cohen, her husband of almost 25 years, also weighed in. “Meredith really likes the Today show, she likes the people she works with, but it’s a very intrusive way to live,” he said. “I think she may be nearing the point where she wants to reassess what she’s doing and what she wants to do, and not get up at 2:30 in the morning.”

Vieira’s contract expires this September. We wish her the best, whatever her decision.

Hoda Kotb: War, Cancer and Kathie Lee?

October 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm , by

Hoda photo credit julie dennisAre you a fan of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and their freewheeling fourth hour of the Today Show? I am. I became a Kathie Lee fan years ago, when she sat next to Regis and wasn’t afraid or embarrassed to talk about anything. My dad loved her, and when I moved in with my parents for a while in the ’90s to help take care of him while he was ill, the show became a cheerful morning ritual for Dad and me.

So I was happy when I heard in 2008 that this old friend was joining Today. But who was Hoda Kotb (right)? I didn’t know then. But I feel I know her now, thanks to her new book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee.

The book is a fun read, with gripping tales of her travels around the world to cover stories for Dateline, from war-torn Baghdad to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. And there’s plenty of entertaining inside scoop about getting to know Kathie Lee and finding their groove together for the show.

But the part that really got me was the raw, emotional recounting of what she calls “the bad year.” It was 2007, “the year my body and my heart broke at the same time,” as she describes it. She was 42, happily married, fit and healthy—or so she thought. “I had finally balanced my personal life and career, a real challenge for me up to that point.” She had always wanted kids. But in January of that year, she learned that her husband had been deceiving her—and that she had breast cancer. Read more

The Power of Good Posture

August 31, 2010 at 10:40 am , by

PostureI’ll never forget my first elegant New York dinner party. It was the late 1990s and I was invited to a seated dinner at a posh Upper West Side apartment, attended by a fascinating assortment of writers, artists, photographers and musicians. As I sat down next to a very attractive gentleman, he noted, “You have really good posture.” Maybe it wasn’t the compliment of my dreams, but it was memorable!

I do have good posture. I don’t know if my mom instilled that in me, or if years of yoga classes straightened out my spine. But for those of us who sit at a desk for hours a day, good posture is vital to our health. So I was thrilled when we ran a story in our September issue called “Don’t Be a Slouch,” and when the Today Show asked me to come on and demonstrate some of my good-posture moves.

Check Out My Posture Moves with Hoda and Kathie Lee on the Today Show
I was in the Today Show studio for a run-through the night before with producer Bruce Lamb, above, and we decided we would demonstrate the old “balance a book on your head” posture move. It’s not as easy as it looks! To see how Kathie Lee and Hoda did with their book balancing (and to see my techniques for sitting at a computer, holding a cell phone and carrying heavy bags), watch the Today Show video clip here. It’s a blast, and I guarantee it’ll have you practicing your dance moves while carrying books on your head—and sitting up straighter, too.

Let Go of Your Anger!

April 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm , by

Todayshow2One of our favorite writers, Holly Robinson, and I appeared together on the Today Show this morning to talk about being polite when you really feel mad. (That’s us, right, pretending to fight in the Green Room at 30 Rock.) You can see our conversation with Hoda and Kathie Lee here.

Have you been in a situation recently where you felt your anger going out of control? It might have been in a slow line at the grocery store, or in a restaurant, or even behind the wheel after someone cut you off—you know that feeling of blind, roaring rage?

After a series of stressful encounters with rude, impatient people one day, Robinson snapped at a slow waitress. But then she felt terrible when she saw and heard the waitress stomp back into the kitchen and take out her anger on the cook. That made Robinson stop and remember her British grandmother, who always reminded her that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

So she decided to try an experiment for the next week: No matter what happened, she would be polite and disarm with charm instead of blowing her top. The result was a revelation: People weren’t just more polite in return, but Robinson felt better—and much less stressed. For her, the key was acknowledging and appreciating the people around her, and understanding that the people she encountered had stresses of their own and were doing the best they could. (Read about the health dangers of too much anger after the jump.) Read more