Since ex-“TODAY” host Matt Lauer’s stunning fall from grace, Hoda Kotb has stepped up to take his seat — and she’s getting well rewarded for it.
It was announced on Monday that the TV veteran would be joining Savannah Guthrie permanently at the “TODAY” helm, making the duo the first all-female leading lineup in the show’s history. According to NBC, Kotb’s contract — like Guthrie’s — will have the 53-year-old pulling in $7 million per year, reports Page Six.
While that number is nothing to scoff it, it pales in comparison to the $25 million-a-year paycheck that Lauer was cashing before his abrupt firing in November following a complaint of sexual miscondct against him.
According to a “TODAY” source, however, Kotb has no qualms about her contract — at least for now.
“Hoda isn’t complaining about the money. She has landed the big job she always dreamed of, and most definitely deserves,” said the insider to Page Six. “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.”
As the announcement made headlines, Kotb revealed on Jan. 2 that Lauer had reached out in support.
“He was sweet this morning. Certain texts popped up, and there was one from Matt: ‘Congratulations!’” she told E! News. “And he said some nice words.”
Kotb continued, “It meant the world to me to hear from him. It was really nice.”
As for pairing up with Guthrie full time, Kotb is all smiles.
“When you click with someone, man, woman, it doesn’t matter. If it works, it works,” Kotb said of her relationship with her new co-host. “We’re sort of like sisters, and everybody wants a sister.”
In addition to co-hosting “TODAY,” Kotb’s drinking duties with Kathie Lee Gifford on their fourth hour show spot will continue, at least for the near future.