Hoda Kotb talks one-on-one with WSLS - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Hoda Kotb talks one-on-one with WSLS

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Over the past few weeks we've been asking you at home to like us on Facebook and help us work to reach our goal of 50,000 likes. Now we didn't quite reach that goal, but today the Today Show host and Virginia Tech graduate, Hoda Kotb, has agreed to speak with us.

Erin Brookshier: Hey Hoda, thank you so much for joining us it's great to have you!

Hoda Kotb: Erin, we can get to 50,000! I am confident that we can get to 50,000 likes! We're right there, come on!

Erin: Some of our WSLS viewers have sent in questions that they want to ask you, are you ready for this?

Hoda: Fire away girl, I'm ready!

Erin: Our first question comes from Peggy Quesenberry, she wants to know how you chose to go to Virginia Tech and how your experiences there have contributed to your success.

Hoda: Peggy Quesenberry, I like Peggy's name for starters. I chose Virginia Tech because I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. Tech was one of the schools everyone wanted to go to. My sister went to Virginia Tech, my brother went after me. There was only one choice for me. It was the kind of school that had a great academic reputation, it has an awesome football team- hello, and it has a good blend of academics and fun. I loved it, I chose it, I liked going to a big school like Tech because it prepared me for the real world, a real world out there. I think that working and going to school at Tech really helped me here in New York. In New York, you're in a huge place and you've got to find your way to fit in.

Erin: Absolutely. So do you still watch the Tech football games and cheer for the Hokies?

Hoda: Are you kidding? Hello! I'm a huge Hokie fan, I'm rooting them on. When they lose it's painful, I have to say, it's not great. But I'm crazy about the team and Frank Beamer and everybody. I'm cheering them on.

Erin: Perfect. So our next question is also about your time at Virginia Tech. Andrea Hill wants to know, what were your future career goals when you were still a student at Virginia Tech.

Hoda: Well for Andrea, my career goals- I knew I wanted to be in broadcast journalism because it was live and happening now. I sort of felt like print journalism, which is really a terrific profession, but I felt like when you got the newspaper it was yesterdays news. By the time it came to your front door it had been printed the night before. So I wanted to do broadcasting. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, to be honest. I knew I loved news. We were a very newsy family. I knew I liked it. I figured I'd go to a local station, get to work there and be happy. I got to do that in a lot of places. Now I'm laughing and scratching with Kathie Lee Gifford, so you never know where your career's going to turn.

Erin: Now our next question is also about Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Susan Clark wants to know what you enjoyed most about living in the Blacksburg area.

Hoda: I just love the feeling of being in the mountains, that beautiful feeling. You felt like you were in a city, in a way, with so many kids there. But you drove a little bit outside and suddenly you just saw such beautiful country. And I loved when we would get those innertubes and float down the river and you had the cooler, don't say anything, in the smaller tube. You would just float away. I just remember thinking 'wow, what a back drop for college." Most people go to school in a college town. But we had the most beautiful canopy for a place to go to college. I loved the duck pond, I loved going to football games. I'm a Tri Delt so I loved everything associated with and affiliated with our sorority. I just had an all around great college experience.

Erin: Now I'm sure being live on TV every single morning does have some challenges. Michelle Robinson wants to know how do you manage to keep your private life so private?

Hoda: Oh really? Michelle, I try. It's not simple. I'm with Kathie Lee. She's like 'so, where were you last night?' I'm like 'oh I went out with a friend.' She's like 'what friend?' 'oh, you know he's a nice guy.' 'but what's his name? People, what is his name?" It's not easy. Because if you really want a relationship to work, you can't put it out on the air. It's one of those things. So I try to do that, but it's like a catch 22 a little bit. People like us because we're honest and tell the truth and say what we're doing and what we're feeling. So if you take a chunk of your life and say 'you can't have that part." It's difficult for people to relate to you. So I try to give a little bit- I am going out with this guy. But instead of showing him, I showed his boots next to my shoes. We had our feet up together, and I was like, "there he is!" Kathie Lee's response was, "you guys have the same size feet." Which I thought was rude. But anyway.. I try to keep it as private as I can.

Erin: Right. So you guys get to drink a lot of wine on the Today Show, talk a little about what it's like getting to drink on the job sometimes.

Hoda: Is that sick? Can you even believe that happens? I mean that's really ridiculous. It started off one day because Chelsea Handler was on the show. She had a book called "hello Vodka, It's Me Chelsea," so we gave her a drink as a joke. Then a few weeks later Brooke Shields was on and she said, "well where's mine?" And we said "where's your what?" And she said "where's my drink?" I was like, "oh, well we better get one." And then it sort of became like a habit. To be honest, we sort of sip a little here and there. We're not really throwing back, except for on Fridays. But normally it's just a sip here and there. I think it adds to the fun. Time Magazine called us the happy hour of the Today Show, and that's sort of what we feel like. A place where you have a license to be free. We listen to fun music, we have a sip of wine, we laugh with our guests. That's the vibe we're trying to create.

Erin: It is kind of like a fun party vibe. How do you decide which wines you're going to try each day or each week?

Hoda: We go with the same one everyday. We have that every single day. Then in other segments, like on a random day we had a bartender make drinks for people. Or if there's a skinny wine, one with fewer calories, we'll test drive those. We try to help our viewers out and taste things so they don't have to.

Erin: So you and Kathie Lee get to spend a lot of time together every single day. Our viewers want to know what your relationship is really like. Is it a love-hate situation? Would you consider each other best friends?

Hoda: Look, she's one of these people. I never like knew her. You know what I mean? I knew her like, "oh she's on with Regis." I saw her at a restaurant once and introduced myself, I asked her if she wanted to fill in one day because we needed someone to do that. I wasn't sure, I'll be honest. I know that she's kind of larger than life and people know her by one name, but she is so incredibly down to earth. She has incredible comedic timing. Sometimes I look at her and I just want to start laughing so hard. She's got that thing in her, and she is one of my dearest friends. I just think to myself, 'if we hadn't gotten together on this show I would have missed out on one of the great joys in my life.' Getting to know her, enjoying her, laughing with her, we really have a strong bond. We get to do things together outside of work. We got to lunch, we go to theater, we go out and do dinners. We do stuff outside of the office.

Erin: One segment you get to do a lot is iHoda, where you pick a song. How do you pick a song for the segment and know which ones you're going to do each week?

Hoda: You know what? It's whatever I hear that week. Sometimes I walk into a store and have my iphone, I get shazaam and I'm like, "what is that song?" It's one of those that's just so crazy catchy. Sometimes they're old school, sometimes they're new, sometimes they're like Macklemore, sometimes-- there's this guy named Stephano who has these great songs I love. It sort of depends. I like anything that gets you off the couch. I try to slip in, I love country music. So I play a lot of country. Most of the songs I choose, she hates, which makes it even sweeter to do those things. She can't stand them. She's like, "what? This isn't music." And I'm like, "you only like your music. The ones you write and stuff like Sound of Music. Those are the only ones you like. Somewhere over the rainbow." I like (singing) "I'm gonna pop some tags, 'cause I got 20 dollas in my pocket, ooh." Like that- that's music.

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