So far, 2018’s off to a pretty good start — women running the world-wise. After a little more than a month filling in as co-anchor following Matt Lauer’s firing, Hoda Kotb has landed the Today show job permanently, making Kotb and Savannah Guthrie the first all-female anchor team in the morning show’s 65-year history. Fans are rightfully happy about the promotion, but big-time media salaries haven’t quite caught up.
According to reports, Hoda Kotb’s salary will be a lot less than Lauer’s — for now, anyway.
NBC hasn’t confirmed Kotb’s actual salary, but The Hollywood Reporter estimates it’s likely somewhere around $5 million, aka significantly less than Lauer’s $20 million. (The New York Post cited sources saying Kotb’s deal was closer to $7 million). Lauer reportedly pulled in the big bucks because he’d been at the job for more than 20 years (okay, fair) and because of the “star presence” the role had gotten him. (And we’re guessing the fact that he was a powerful white man didn’t hurt.)
Kotb’s salary, meanwhile, is much closer to what her co-anchor Guthrie is making. Guthrie has been with NBC News since 2007, and in the anchor chair since 2012. Kotb joined NBC in 1998 (after getting 27 rejections elsewhere, because #persistence).
Kotb should really already be making more.
You know, since she’s pulling double duty, co-anchoring *and* throwing back chardonnay with Kathie Lee in the 10 a.m. hour. And in addition to a warm fan reception, the newly minted co-anchor has also gotten the stamp of approval from her Today show colleagues — past and present. Tom Brokaw applauded NBC’s decision on Twitter this week, along with Guthrie and former Today show correspondent Tamron Hall. Even Lauer texted Kotb his well wishes.
Lauer had been a huge name for Today and NBC before the allegations of sexual misconduct got him booted, so we’re not shocked his paychecks were hefty. And considering the world we live in, we’re not shocked that women doing the same job have been making so much less. But with two badass ladies now running things on Today and an electric current of women pushing for equality in so many industries, we have a feeling it won’t be long before the network sees what a smart move they made in promoting Hoda Kotb — and ups her and Guthrie’s salaries to match their worth.