Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Talk Self-Doubt, Early Obstacles in Hall of Fame Induction Speeches

During the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame event, Kotb empowered women to know their worth, while Guthrie reflected on overcoming challenges in her career

Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb
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Congratulations are in order for Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie!

On Thursday night, the Today co-anchors were inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

The duo, who officially began working as co-anchors on Today in 2018, each gave inspiring speeches about their careers and their connection as a team.

For Kotb, her speech gave a powerful message to women about speaking up for their dreams and knowing their worth. She began by explaining how she recently interviewed Viola Davis, who told her "she spent most of her life and much of her career not feeling worthy, feeling that she didn't deserve what was coming to her."

"Tomorrow, I'm gonna interview Rita Moreno and in all my research Rita said the same thing: throughout her career and throughout her life, she felt like she was not worthy," Kotb said. "She was belittled, she was degraded and somehow she accepted that treatment."

"Which brings me to the women in this room, all of the fabulous fantastic women in this room," she went on. "I don't know what you make in your salary but I'll say this: you deserve more. I don't know what position you have but you're probably due a promotion. We need to know our worth."

Hoda Kotb
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Continuing, Kotb clarified that she's "speaking to myself, too" and noted how she has spent "a lot of my career thinking I didn't deserve all the things I got, even if I worked so hard."

"I didn't even know if I deserved to have a family of my own," she explained, before revealing how Guthrie's advice inspired her to have a change of heart.

"She said this: 'If you have a wish, or if you have a hope, or if you have a dream, say it out loud, even if it's just to yourself in the bathroom mirror, even if it's just a whisper, say it out loud,'" Kotb recalled. "My wish was to have kids, but I wasn't sure if I deserved them and I was afraid to say it out loud because when you say it out loud it's real. But guess what happened? I said it out loud, God heard me and I have 5-year-old Haley and 3-year-old Hope."

"This is a long way of saying, ask for what you want, ask for the raise, ask for the promotion, ask for the family, even if it's just a whisper," she added, before concluding, "This award is to all the women who felt not worthy: you are worth it and so am I."

After such an emotional speech, Kotb was certainly a tough act to follow — and Guthrie made note of that as she stepped up to the podium to begin her speech. "Life lesson: never follow Hoda Kotb," she joked.

In Guthrie's speech, she reminisced about her early years in the industry, and the obstacles she faced along the way, including the time she lost her first local television news job at age 21 after only 10 days.

"It was in Butte, Montana. It was humble but I was darn lucky to get that job," the co-anchor shared, noting that she "spent every dime I had moving up there."

"I enthusiastically started my job in this tiny station with a newsroom staff of four, including me," Guthrie continued. "Right away I was shooting, and reporting, and editing. I was doing it, I was Butte, Montana's Diane Sawyer — for 10 days. That is when management called the meeting and closed the station. My TV career was over, and it hadn't even lasted two weeks."

"If you had told that girl, lying on her bed and crying, humiliated and kind of too broke to even get home, that one day she'll be here, in this company, receiving this honor, all the old rusty mining equipment in Butte, Montana could not have lifted her jaw off the floor," Guthrie joked.

RELATED VIDEO: Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Open Up About Balancing Family with Today

Though the moment was a low point in her career, Guthrie said she felt a "tiny spark of improbable belief that maybe, just maybe" things were going to work out.

"This is a funny business," she later said. "It's just like that, you are soaring one minute, you are crushed in the next. It thrills and it challenges you and sometimes it breaks your confidence and sometimes it breaks your heart."

Still, Guthrie noted, "I wouldn't trade it for anything, so thank you to everyone along the way who made it possible."

Concluding her speech, Guthrie thanked her fellow co-anchor directly: "To Hoda especially, I would hold hands and close my eyes and go anywhere with you and I am so glad that here is where we are tonight."

Savannah Guthrie
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Following the night's festivities, Guthrie and Kotb marked the occasion with respective posts on Instagram.

"Oh what I night. Thx #broadcastingandcablehalloffame What an honor for me and my girl. @savannahguthrie" Kotb wrote on Instagram beside a slideshow of photos from the evening.

Added Guthrie: "this was a truly special night - because of all the dear friends who came out to support us - thank you @alroker for staying up late for us. Best. Colleagues. Ever."

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