Matt Lauer's departure from the TODAY show on November 28 came as a shock to many. NBC announced that the anchor had been fired after a co-worker came forward with a detailed report regarding sexual harassment.
In the weeks following the announcement, several other women came forward and accused Lauer of harassment and strange behavior. Additionally, the discussion began to turn to who would become Lauer's replacement as co-anchor on the TODAY show.
On Tuesday, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced that Hoda Kotb would be Lauer's replacement. Kotb has been a co-host on the network's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford for several years and will now be permanently joining Savannah Guthrie for the first two morning hours as well.
As soon as Lauer was fired, Kotb stepped up and was a significant help to the network. Additionally, she and Guthrie work extremely well together. Overall, it seemed like a natural transition.
Guthrie and Kotb are the first pair of females to co-anchor TODAY. Now, many viewers are attacking the network for one significant detail regarding Kotb's promotion: her salary.
Matt Lauer was the network's highest-paid anchor, earning roughly $25 million. Now, reports have revealed that his replacement, Kotb, will only be earning $7 million.
Several people have called out the network for the disparity in earning, claiming that Kotb should be making a similar amount to what Lauer's salary was.
While many have claimed that Kotb's salary is unfair, others have been defending some aspects of the difference. Page Six reported that Lauer's salary was a result of his long career with the network.
Independent news analyst Andrew Tyndall said, "This is a symptom of the correct economic decision to downsize the role and not throw millions and millions of dollars at it."
Another insider claimed that Kotb had no issue with her smaller salary and did not try to change it. However, they pointed out that it could be considered unfair.
They said, "She has landed the big job she always dreamed of, and most definitely deserves...but the figures underline the huge wage disparity at NBC News."
Kotb opened up about the salary as well when asked if she would be making the same amount as Lauer.
She said, "The answer is no- that's not happening. I think the whole money thing for me, I've always been sort of- I know it sounds ridiculous that I'm going to say this, but I really have done jobs I liked for the job I liked because I never wanted to be happy every other Friday on payday. Like, I didn't want that to be the happy day. I wanted to feel good throughout. So no, I'm not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close."
What do you think about this? Should Kotb be making the same amount as Lauer? Let us know your thoughts. In other recent news, a prominent Christian couple is pleading for prayers as their 2 kids are in the hospital fighting for their lives.