Kotb’s contract puts her at $7 million per year, which is $18 million per year less than disgraced Matt Lauer, who was fired after sexual harassment allegations came to light, and about $13 million less than fellow “Today” anchor Megyn Kelly.
Lauer, who was fired for sexual misconduct, only worked four days a week. Kotb will not only replace Lauer from 7-9 a.m., but she will also continue to co-host the 10 a.m. hour with Kathy Lee Gifford. Kotb’s day will now end at 11 a.m., meaning she will be working more hours but getting paid less.
“Hoda isn’t complaining about the money. She has landed the big job she always dreamed of, and most definitely deserves. Plus, Matt’s salary reflected the long time he was on the show — 25 years. If things go well, Hoda could ask for more next time if she re-ups her contract. But the figures underline the huge wage disparity at NBC News,” an NBC source said about the new anchor.
Kotb had filled in for Matt Lauer the day it was announced that he was fired over a wave of allegations of sexual harassment. She and Savannah Guthrie had been co-hosting “Today” since November, and now, the change is permanent.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Kotb’s new position in a memo that read, “Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running. They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of ‘Today.’”
Lack added, “Hoda is, in a word, remarkable. She has the rare ability to share authentic and heartfelt moments in even the most difficult news circumstances. It’s a tribute to her wide range and her innate curiosity.”
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made,” Guthrie said on the show at the time of the announcement.
“There’s no one I’d rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you,” Kotb replied.
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