*NBC has denied a story in today’s New York Daily News that claims Hoda Kotb, co-host of “Today’s” fourth hour, has been dispatched to London to help rejuvenate the morning show’s Olympics coverage in the midst of plummeting ratings.


The paper cited “a network insider” who said Kotb was supposed to be going on vacation during “Today’s” two-week Olympic reporting, but was called in to help out with hosting on Thursday after the show’s pre-Olympics broadcast failed to match the ratings of ABC’s rival show “Good Morning America.”

The source went on to explain that network executives practically “begged” Hoda to fly over, adding “they’re just shoehorning her into the show to help bring it alive.”

“Absolute nonsense. That’s a garbage story,” said “Today’s” executive producer Jim Bell of the Daily News article while appearing on  SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio. “Anybody who watches the show knows that we’ve been running a thing with Kathie Lee and Hoda for weeks talking about why Hoda should go to the Olympics. So I have no idea. It was pathetic reporting.”

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