Many have wondered for weeks now who will replace Matt Lauer on the Today show after the anchor was fired over sexual harassment claims. Now, NBC News has provided their answer. Hoda Kotb has been named as Matt's permanent replacement.
This news ends weeks of speculation as to who would replace Lauer. Kotb had been filling in for Matt, appearing alongside Savannah Guthrie since the news of Lauer's firing. The pair have created a two-woman anchor team on the morning show since November. And fans seem happy with the arrangement.
The ultimate decision to replace Matt Lauer has been called a delicate one. Many viewers think of their morning co-hosts as 'family', having to wake up every morning to them delivering the news. And on-air chemistry is always important. The Today show has seen a slip in ratings over the past couple of years. But the morning chat show is still seen as a major ratings and profit driver for Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb will be paired together from the 7am to 9am time slot in New York working from EST time. Hoda Kotb originally joined NBC News back in 1998, working as a correspondent for Dateline. Not only will she be taking over for Matt Lauer, she will also continue co-hosting the 10am hour alongside co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. Their signature has been drinking wine during their hour together. It isn't known if that will change with Kotb taking on a bigger role on Today.
Matt Lauer had served as the host of Today for over twenty years. Hoda Kotb read the statement issued by NBC News president Andrew Lack that Matt Lauer had been fired on November 29, 2017. NBC had received a detailed complaint from a colleague about sexual misconduct in the workplace by Matt Lauer. Since that time, others have come forward to also accuse Matt Lauer about misconduct in the workplace. These were the first complaints lodged against Lauer since he took over as host of Today in 1997. At the time of his firing, Kotb, who has known Matt Lauer for more than fifteen years, had this to say about the matter.
"It's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day."
The Today show has generated nearly $508 million in advertising revenue in 2016. This comes from research firm Kantar Media. With Hoda Kotb already co-hosting in the 7-9 slot, the transition will be seamless. You can read more about Matt Lauer's Today replacement at Bloomberg.