Taking a break? Hoda Kotb shared a cryptic message amid her unexplained absence from the Today show — and fans have noticed.
The 58-year-old journalist raised eyebrows on Monday, February 27, when she posted a picture of the message “Choose Hope” via Instagram. She simply captioned the images, which featured the words written above a cloudscape, with two red heart emojis.
“Today show just isn’t the same without you! I hope you’re OK,” one fan wrote in the comments. “But boy if they are letting you go … people are going to drop like flys [sic] watching Today. We Love Hoda!”
Many of the NBC cohost’s followers wondered the same thing, with one writing, “Hope everything is OK Hoda. You are missed ❤️.”
A third user questioned whether Kotb’s absence meant she is expanding her family after adopting daughters Haley Joy, 6, and Hope, 3, in February 2017 and April 2019, respectively.
“Did you get another baby, Hoda? This is usually what happens when you go missing for 2 wks,” the fan wrote. “Sure hope, it’s something good 😘.”
Earlier this month, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Kotb was noticeably missing from her duties as cohost of the Today show and Today With Hoda and Jenna.
During the Friday, February 24, episode of Today, the Virginia Tech alum was replaced Tom Llamas. When she was out again for Monday’s broadcast, her longtime friend and co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said, “Hoda’s off today” at the top of the show.
Guthrie, 51, later added, “Hoda’s got the morning off,” but failed to explain where she was on Friday or what exactly she was doing.
Kotb’s absence from Today With Hoda and Jenna, meanwhile, has been even more alarming to her fans as she’s been gone for nearly one week.
Host Jenna Bush Hager was joined by Sheinelle Jones on Tuesday, February 21, and Wednesday, February 22. Willie Geist filled in for Kotb the rest of the week until Friday. Jones, 44, once again took over the cohosting duties on Monday’s show.
While the former Dateline NBC correspondent hasn’t been seen on camera lately, she has been visible on social media. In addition to her cryptic Monday message about hope, Kotb shared inspirational quotes via Instagram starting on Wednesday.
Her Friday message read: “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” She followed it up with the Saturday, February 25, quote: “She’s magic, that one.”
The latter message once again had some fans wondering if Kotb was in the process of adopting another little girl. The Oklahoma native, for her part, previously told Us Weekly that she would “never say never” to expanding her brood.
She also teased in April 2022 that dating again following her split from ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman earlier that year wasn’t off the table.
“I think love is a funny thing,” Kotb exclusively told Us at the time. “Like, your heart has a large capacity and who knows what fills it up. But I think whatever it is, you’ve got to be open and ready.”ORDER A COPY OF ROB’S NEW BEST SELLING BOOK! Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!